The Iran's national women's team is all set to participate in the A sian Football Federation Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia which kicks-off on Thursday, 17th September, but they will be without their captain, Niloufar Ardalan . The 30-year-old will have to make do with watching the matches on TV at home, if her husband allows that is.
Why is she not travelling? Because her husband has refused to let her fly out of Iran. He has also refused to sign the documents required to renew a passport as reported by Daily Mail .
Under Islamic law, a married Iranian woman requires permission from her husband get her passport renewed.
Source: The Guardian
What makes the matter even more ironical is the fact that Ardalan's husband, Mahdi Toutounchi, is a sports journalist. He reportedly wants his wife to be home for their son's first day of school as reported by Hindustan Times .
Ardalan took to Instagram on Tuesday, September 15, and explained her version of the situation. " I am only a national soldier who fights to raise flag of our country. I wish a law would be approved that allows female soldiers to fight for raising the flag," she wrote on her Instagram post.
Although women's sports had largely evaporated in Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with the passing of time, football has managed to gain some popularity in the country. The players have to wear hijabs. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two Islamic countries made hijab mandatory for women in public.
This is how people on Instagram expressed their support for Ardalan and anger towards the sexist law that lets her husband stop her from travelling abroad.