Iranian authorities forced the male coach of the Thai female kabaddi team to wear hijab in order to be able to accompany his team into the women’s arena, during the Asian Kabaddi Championship , according to media reports.
Radio Farda said that the decision was taken because in Iran men are not allowed to enter sports arenas used by women.
Somprach Phonchoo, the Thai coach, in an interview with Radio Farda confirmed that he was requested to put on the headscarf if he was to be granted entry.
Mohammad Reza Maghasoudlou, the head of Iran’s Kabaddi federation, on his part came up with a funny explanation. He told ISNA News Agency, “A photographer had given the scarf to the Thai man so he could enter the arena and take pictures.”
“It was a mischievous act and the intention was to cast aspersion on the conduct of the games,” Maghasoudlou added.
The Asian Kabaddi Championship was held in the Iranian northern city of Gorgan between November 22-27.
The Iranian women’s team missed the final after a defeat at the hands of South Korea in the semi-final. In the final game, India defeated Pakistan and became champion.