Iranian boxer Sadaf Khadem, who became the first female boxer from her country to win an overseas bout, has cancelled her return home as an arrest warrant has been issued against her due to ‘dress code violation’.
Khadem and her trainer, Mahyar Monshipour, are in Poitiers, France, waiting to return to Tehran after earning a historic win against Anne Chauvin.
Participating in an official boxing match was not her ‘sin’. It was her decision to sport a vest and shorts in a bout that didn’t go well with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
All Iranian sportswomen should participate in sporting events with ‘hijab’ and fully covered dress in line with Islamic laws. Khadem defied her country’s archaic law by going bare-headed and wore shorts for the bout in Royan which was telecasted all around the world.
“I was fighting in a legally approved match in France. But as I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, which is completely normal in the eyes of the entire world, I confounded the rules of my country. I wasn’t wearing a hijab, I was coached by a man – some people take a dim view of this,” said Khadem to a French daily.
On her win, there was no immediate comment from Iran but the national boxing federation appeared to make a safe distance from the 24-year-old boxer.
Hossein Soori, the head of Iran’s boxing federation, said Khadem was not a registered boxer in Iran and “in the view of the federation all of her activities are a private act.”
Khadem and her trainer Monshipour were warned about the arrest warrant in a text message, the pair’s spokesperson said.
However, Iran Boxing Federation ‘strongly’ dismissed the reports that claimed Khadem was barred from returning home. Many reports around the world claimed that she would be severely punished if she dares to return home.
Monshipour, who has both French and Iranian citizenship, was about to tour Iran to train young boxers. Their spokesperson added that the France sports ministry was aware of the development.
“I want to improve as much as possible, go as far as possible and show other Iranian women that they can taste this sport,” Khadem shared with a French daily.
If Iranian women take part in international sporting events, they have to obey Islamic dress code, irrespective of the difficulties they have to undergo. Due to this controversial law, sports such as wrestling, boxing and swimming are currently off-limits for them.
It must be noted that the International Boxing Association, amateur boxing’s governing body, modified its uniform rules earlier this year. They allowed women to take part in boxing matches while wearing hijab and other garments for religious purpose.
(Featured Image: Twitter/Masih Alinejad)
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