Iranian Female Soccer Player Barred From Travel By Husband

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A star Iranian female soccer player was prevented from competing for her country in an international competition because her husband would not give her permission to renew her passport.

Niloufar Ardalan, known as “Lady Goal,” was due to be captain of the Iranian woman’s soccer team at the Asian Football Federation Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia. However, according to the law of the Islamic Republic, a woman may not renew her passport without her husband’s permission.

“My husband didn’t give me my passport so that I can [take part] in the games, and because of his opposition to my travel abroad, I [will] miss the matches,” said Ardalan.

It was reported that Ardalan’s husband, sports journalist Mehdi Toutounchi, wanted Ardalan to stay home and accompany their seven-year-old son to his first day of school.

However, Ardalan countered, “As a Muslim woman, I wanted to work for my country's flag to be raised [at the games], rather than traveling for leisure and fun.”

Speaking to the Iranian News Agency Nasimonline, she added, “I wish authorities would create [a solution] that would allow female athletes to defend their rights in such situations.”

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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