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

in IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF, 15/02/2014

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 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.

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