Why men and women shouldn’t play soccer together

A mixed soccer game took place in Iran a week ago and the authorities were none too happy. Soccer

TEHRAN, Iran – The first mixed soccer game – females versus males –
since the 1979 Islamic revolution led to swift punishment Monday as six
individuals were suspended and fines C$15,000 were issued.

Iran’s
strict Islamic rules ban any physical contact between unrelated men and
women, and Iranian women are even banned from attending soccer games
when male teams play.

Three officials with the men’s team – a
coach and two managers – were suspended after first denying the game
took place. But video clips on cellphones of the game were used as
evidence against them, the Vatan-e-Emrooz daily newspaper reported.

Esteghlal,
one of Iran’s top two soccer clubs, said its disciplinary committee
suspended two officials for a year while a third was suspended for six
months. A fourth official was fined, a report posted on the club’s
website said. …

The
Jan. 20 game between the club’s female team and its youth male team in
Tehran was the first time in the 30 years of Iran’s Islamic
establishment that males and females played soccer together, observers
said. [Link]

I don't agree with the punishment, but I'm a firm believer that men and woman should not play soccer against each other. In fact, I've held this belief for more than a decade — ever since a female player made me look silly during a soccer game. She took the ball away from me, dribbled past me, really hurt my male ego.

It's humiliating enough when another man beats you with a great move. But when a woman does it, well … you feel like running straight home, taking off your cleats and hammering them into the side of your head.

So how did I get over this? How was I able to look at myself in the mirror again? Well, I reminded myself that female soccer players have a distinct advantage. They have to worry about only one ball. We men, on the other hand, have to protect ourselves.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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