Got to feel some sort of warped sympathy for any voyeurs out there who were spying on the Iranian ladies team’s changing rooms back in 2015.
“[Eight players] have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.”
Mojtabi Sharifi, an official close to the Iranian league
Sex changes are, rather surprisingly, a regular occurrence in Iran, with the procedure taking up to two years.
The very fact that football itself is popular amongst females of Iran is a surprise, too, given the strict religious laws preventing women from entering stadiums to watch games between two males sides – not quite sure how big of a demand there is to go and see Persepolis versus Tractor Sazi, though.
The 2015 incident wasn’t the first time eyebrows of suspicion had been raised, with four players in 2014 being flagged up as not legally female – this saw the introduction of random gender checks. And 2010, there were a few question marks over whether the Iranian goalkeeper was more Adam than Eve.
Women’s football is lacking the support, funding and profile it deserves – Manchester United, the biggest club outside of Manchester, have no ladies team. Why? Probably because they can’t make enough money from it – call me old fashioned, but morals > cashflow.
If the Glazers do fancy returning to the 21st century, though, they’d do well in getting a few Iranian footballers into the Red Devils ladies team. Because, judging by this, if Iran had done that, they probably would’ve dominated the international stage.
Seeing as Iranian women aren’t allowed inside stadiums to watch two male teams play, take a peak at some of the finest European football stadiums out there, before Iran makes us take it down!