Iranian soccer is in the spotlight after men were found competing in the country’s Women’s Premier League and on its women’s national team.
Women’s soccer players must now undergo gender tests as a result of the discovery, 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,” the report says.
Gender change operations are legal in Iran, and transgender competitors will be allowed to play once when they complete the full procedure, which reportedly takes up to two years in Iran.
“If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, they will then be able to participate in [women’s] football,” said Dr. Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation’s medical committee.
The contracts of seven players have been terminated as a result of the recent discovery, and clubs are now obligated to perform gender tests before signing new players to contracts.
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