What's buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

Four players banned from Iranian women’s national team for failing gender tests

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

View photo

Players from the Iranian women's national team (aljazeera.com)

Players from the Iranian women's national team (aljazeera.com)

Women in Iran may not be allowed to attend football matches between male sides for religious reasons, but the beautiful game is popular among the Islamic republic's female population.

Players in Iran's burgeoning professional women's football league will now be subjected to mandatory gender tests, after it has been revealed that four national team players were found guilty of not being women. The Telegraph reports:

The country's football governing body is bringing in the random checks after it was revealed that several leading players - including four in the national women's team - were either men who had not completed sex change operations, or were suffering from sexual development disorders.

Medical inspectors will now randomly attend professional women's games — and those in the indoor "footsal" league — to carry out spot checks.

Furthermore, clubs will now be obliged to perform gender tests before signing new players to contracts. Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the league "until they underwent medical treatment," said Ahmad Hashemian, the head of the Iranian football federation's medical committee.

The Telegraph note that sex changes are often carried out in two-year phases in Iran, but they represent a legal grey area: they are permitted under a fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, but contravene the sexual morality code of Sharia Law.

So far, a total of seven players have been barred from the league after failing gender tests.

- - - - - - -

Ryan Bailey is a writer for Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (2502)
  • Carver condemnation putting Newcastle at risk

    Carver condemnation putting Newcastle at risk

    Newcastle United interim manager John Carver is coming under increased media fire after suggesting defender Mike Williamson got himself sent off "on purpose" during Saturday's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Leicester City. Williamson earned a second … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Juve add a touch of controversy to title win

    Juve add a touch of controversy to title win

    Juventus added a touch of controversy to their Serie A title celebrations on Saturday by suggesting it was the 33rd, not the 31st, time they had won the league. The club's perceived total includes the 2005 and 2006 triumphs, when they were stripped … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 45 minutes ago
  • Leverkusen beat second-string Bayern 2-0 to go third

    Leverkusen beat second-string Bayern 2-0 to go third

    Bayer Leverkusen beat a second-string Bayern Munich 2-0 on Saturday to move up to third in the Bundesliga and get back on course for an automatic Champions League spot with three matches left in the season. Hakan Calhanoglu whipped in a fierce free … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 47 minutes ago
  • Valeri returns from ACL injury for Portland Timbers in 0-0 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps

    As their offensive struggles continue, the Portland Timbers are hoping that the answer to their troubles made his return tonight. Diego Valeri played 38 minutes as a substitute in what was the highlight of Saturday's 0-0 draw with the Vancouver … More »

    The Canadian Press - 2 hours 14 minutes ago
  • Urawa stretch J.League lead with rare win over Gamba

    Zlatan Ljubijankic scored an 84th minute winner to give league leaders Urawa Reds a 1-0 win over reigning champions Gamba Osaka in round nine of the J.League. The Slovenia striker got in front of the Gamba defence to tap home left back Tomoya … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 14 minutes ago