Boxing: Iranian woman Sadaf Khadem fears punishment after historic bout

Trailblazing boxer Sadaf Khadem fears she will be arrested for violating her nation's strict dress code, after becoming the first Iranian woman to contest an official fight.

Khadem beat a local opponent in France over the weekend, but has cancelled her return home, because she wore shorts and a vest in the ring - not Iran's customary hijab headwear.

She was also trained by a man - another violation of the country's laws.

Representative Clara Dallay claims arrest warrants have been issued for Khadem and fight organiser/trainer Mahyar Monshipour, but Iranian authorities deny this.

Sadaf Khadem celebrates her victory
Sadaf Khadem celebrates her victory. Photo credit: Reuters.

"Mrs Khadem is not a member of Iran's organised athletes for boxing," said Iran's head of boxing. "From the boxing federation's perspective, all her activities are personal."

Traditionally, Iranian women have been severely restricted in their sports participation, but they are slowly breaking down barriers.

Monshipour is a former Iranian world champion, based in France, who set up the fight to help that process.

The Islamic dress code was introduced for women after the 1979 revolution, but that has been the subject of protests in recent years too.