Iran barred several of its female billiards players from participating in competitions for a year, saying they had violated Islamic rules at a contest in China, AFP reported on Friday. The disciplinary committee of the country’s Bowling, Billiard and Boxing Federation did not specify the offences committed and said they would announce the names of the players later.
“Women sent to the China Open (billiards) competitions will be banned from all domestic and foreign competitions for one year for violating the Islamic code,” the news agency said, quoting local news reports. The billiards category includes billiards, pool and snooker.
Wearing the Islamic headscarf was made mandatory by the regime that took over after the 1979 revolution.
The curbs come even as Iranian chess players Dorsa Derakhshani and her brother Borna face penalties for violating Islamic norms. Dorsa, who plays without the mandatory hijab headscarf, lives in Spain. He brother drew the ire of authorities for playing a game against a competitor from Israel, the country’s sworn enemy.
Although Iranian women have played an important role in politics in the past – particularly with their participation in mass movements against authoritarian rule before the revolution – present laws have imposed several restrictions on their dressing and movement.
Earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said gender equality is a “Zionist plot” to corrupt the role of women in society.