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Husband bans Iran’s best female soccer player from playing in tournament – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 22nd, 2015 by Ian

Husband bans Iran’s best female soccer player from playing in tournament
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Niloufar Ardalan is widely regarded as the best female soccer player in Iran, but her husband Mehdi Toutounchi has told her she can’t play in an upcoming Futsal tournament because he won’t allow her to travel. Toutounchi is a well-known television presenter and sports journalist who has told his wife she has to stay home and take their son to school instead of representing her country at the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Championships over in Malaysia. Ardalan is known in her homeland by the nickname of Lady Goal, and she told the press her husband didn’t want her to be away on September 23rd since it’s their son’s first day of school.

Needless to say, the story has been picked up by media sources across the globe and Toutounchi has come under fire for his actions via social media networks. Toutounchi said it was his job to put his foot down and take control of the situation as Iranian law states that a woman needs her husband’s consent to travel outside of the country. In addition, married women need to have their husbands sign the paperwork for their passports, and some of them refuse to do so.

Toutounchi isn’t happy that the press has gotten hold of the story and told an Iranian newspaper, “I really don’t like a family problem to become public. I feel in these cases, the man in the family has to take control.” Ardalan is disappointed that she won’t be playing in the tournament with the national team, but said she didn’t want to solve the situation via the media.

Ardalan is usually the captain of the Iranian women’s Futsal squad, which is a five-person, indoor version of soccer. It appears that she doesn’t want to cause any trouble for her husband and country and said it’s a private matter and it has been exploited too much by the antirevolutionary media. Iranian laws have long come under criticism from women’s rights advocates around the world because they’re seen to discriminate against females. Some of the laws were introduced after the revolution in 1979, but the travel law was brought out before then. 

An Iranian website named Feministschool.com said Toutounchi’s actions will affect the Iranian Futsal team during the tournament which runs from September 21st to 26th. The site even suggested that he forbade his wife from playing as a way to help Iran’s opponents, by stating, “By banning his wife from travel, Toutounchi managed to defeat Iran’s national team on behalf of all the players of the rival teams.”

 
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