Iran’s controversial women's futsal team fails to compete in World Tournament
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.6
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
The Iranian Women's National Futsal team will be unable to participate in the 2015 World Tournament due to visa problems, the Iranian federation said.
Although the Iranian girls won the championship in Asia, they will not attend the competition as, Iranian officials say, obtaining visas for all team members is a difficult task.
"As Guatemala does not have an embassy in Tehran, we have to travel to Germany in order to get visas, but the other existing problem is that we have to obtain Schengen visas before traveling to Germany," Varzesh (Persian equivalent for sport) 3 news website quoted Ali Kafashian, the head of the Iranian Football Federation, as saying on Nov. 6.
Some media reports suggest that this is not the first time that Iranian girls have missed an international event as the team did not take part in the futsal cup games hosted by Colombia for similar reasons.
Earlier in September, the former captain of the women's team, Niloufar Ardalan, was prevented from joining her teammates at the AFC Women's Futsal Championship because her husband would not allow her to renew her passport.
Under Iranian law, married women must obtain permission from their husband before they can travel abroad.
Following Ardalan's story, Iranian Facebook users launched a campaign calling for changes in the law and demanding equal rights for women.