The 32-year-old put up a decisive performance as her country defeated Jordan to qualify for their first-ever Women’s Asia Cup.
Koudaei saved two penalties to help Iran to record a 4-2 victory in the shootout following a stalemate between the two teams.
In the aftermath of the game, the Jordan FA petitioned the Asian Football Federation (AFC) to do a gender verification check on the goalkeeper.
Players of Iran's national women's football team celebrate the birthday of #Zohreh_Koudaei .
Iranian women's soccer team were accused by rivals Jordan of playing a "man" as a goalkeeper!
لاعبات المنتخب الإيراني لكرة القدم النسائية يحتفلن بعيد ميلاد #زهره_کودایی . #الأردن_مش_بخير pic.twitter.com/99wcLWx0yF
— Mohammad Mazhari (@epicoria) November 23, 2021
Jordan’s FA President, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, called on the AFC to investigate the issue, referring to it as a serious matter.
Meanwhile, Koudaei has denied allegations that she’s a man and has described her treatment as akin to bullying.
“I am a woman. This is bullying from Jordan. I will sue the Jordan FA,” she said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Iran’s team coach, Maryam Irandoost, has backed the goalkeeper, saying the Jordan FA are only being sore losers.
“The medical staff have carefully examined each player on the national team in terms of hormones to avoid any problems in this regard, and so I tell all fans not to worry,” she said.
“These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team.
“The Jordanian team considered themselves the big favourite to qualify… and when they lost… it was natural to seek relief under false pretenses and to escape responsibility for this failure,” she added.
This comes after eight players in the Iranian national team were alleged to be men awaiting gender surgery in 2015.