Recently, Mojtabi Sharifi, an official close to the Iranian Football league, told an Iranian news website: “Eight men have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.” As bizarre as it sounds, their team has actually been facing random checks for men in the women’s team since 2010, when their goalkeeper was thought to be a man.
According to Telegraph , sex changes are carried out pretty commonly in Iran, a fact strangely at odds with the nation’s otherwise conservative rules regarding gender and sexuality. In 2014, it was revealed that 4 national team players were men who had not completed sex change operations.
This revelation about 8 of the national team’s players allegedly being men has led to accusations against the country’s football association for being unethical.
Despite strict conservative rules that bar women from entering football stadiums to watch male matches, the sport remains very popular among Iranian women. The entire national team, which plays in hijab headscarfs, long-sleeved tops and tracksuit bottoms, are scheduled to be gender tested very soon.