Niloufar Ardalan says her husband wont let her play in tournaments overseas. ONE of Irans best female soccer players wont compete in an upcoming international tournament because her husband, citing Islamic law, isnt letting her travel abroad, instead insisting she stay home and take care of their child. Islamic laws enforced in Iran dictate that a married woman must have her spouses permission to obtain or renew a passport.
Niloufar Ardalan — known as “Lady Goal” for her on-field triumphs and athletic prowess — told the Iranian website Nasimonline that she won’t be playing in the Asian Football Federation Women’s Futsal Championship because her husband hasn’t given permission for her to travel outside Iran.
The 30-year-old Ardalan, who has captained Iran’s national team, had hoped to participate in the futsal championship — an indoor version of the sport to be held September 21-26 in the Malaysian town of Nilai, according to Radio Free Europe.
“But my husband didn’t give me my passport so that I can [participate] in the games, and because of his opposition to my travel abroad, I [will] miss the matches,” Ardalan told Nasimonline.
“I wish authorities would create [measures] that would allow female athletes to defend their rights in such situations,” the website quoted Ardalan as saying.
“These games were very important to me. As a Muslim woman, I wanted to work for my country’s flag to be raised [at the games], rather than travelling for leisure and fun.”
According to Iranian media, Ardalan said her passport expired and that her husband — sports journalist Mehdi Toutounchi — will not sign the paperwork necessary to renew it.
Toutounchi reportedly refused because he wants Ardalan to be at home for her 7-year-old son’s first day of school on Sept. 23 — though the man has not publicly responded to his wife’s remarks.