We have previously discussed the myriad of discriminatory rules facing women in Iran under that country’s application of Islamic rules. Now one of those archaic rules has cost the country’s soccer team it’s captain. Niloufar Ardalan, 30, will not be competing in Malaysia because her husband refused to sign papers to allow his wife to renew her passport. The Asian Football Confederation Futsal Championship is set to run from Sept. 21-26.
The husband, sports journalist Mahdi Toutounchi wanted his wife to be present on the first day of school for their 7-year-old son. Ardalan wants to compete but Iran makes women subject to their husband’s sole authority on such travel. Ardalan is calling for changes to the rule and noted that irony that “[a]s 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.”
She added: “I wish authorities would create [measures] that would allow female athletes to defend their rights in such situations.”
Ardulan has previously fought for greater rights for women and has been an important voice for equality as Iran’s top female soccer player. This has included efforts to watch male competitions. As we have previously discussed, women continue to be arrested for just wanting to watch a soccer game in a stadium.