The captain of the Iranian women’s soccer team will miss the Asian Cup tournament because her husband confiscated her passport, local media have reported. Sports journalist Mahdi Toutounchi reportedly argued with his wife, 30-year-old midfielder Niloufar Ardalan, over the fact that she would miss her son’s first day of school. Under Iranian law, husbands can stop their wives from traveling outside the country. News of Ardalan missing the tournament came Monday, when Iranian news website fararu.com reported that Ardalan wouldn’t be traveling to Malaysia for the Asian Cup, which begins on Thursday. Ardalan (a.k.a. “Lady Goal”) has garnered sympathy across Iran, with many demanding she be allowed to travel and play. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Ardalan said her case was being exaggerated by foreign media, but acknowledged she would be missing the tournament. She also called for Iran to change its laws governing married women’s travel.
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