Monday, 7 November 2011

Follow Up: Iranian Footballers face flogging under chastity law

Tehran - Two Iranian soccer players are facing a public flogging of 74 lashes for celebrating a team goal. Their behaviour, which included hugging and bottom pinching, was deemed inappropriate and immoral, and may have violated Iran's chastity law.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously claimed during a visit to New York
"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like you do in your country. This does not exist in our country." (Guardian).
An edict punishes homosexuality with prison or death in the Islamic Republic, but now it has been interpreted in the most extreme fashion as footballers celebrating a team goal have been charged with committing an immoral act on the playing field.
According to FARS two footballers who play for Iran's Persepolis team
"involved themselves in immoralities, grabbing and squeezing the backside of unidentified teammates."
The incident was caught by State TV which was broadcasting the match between Persepolios and Damash in the Iranian Premier League.
The two players' involved were Defender Mohammad Nosrati and Sheys Rezaei. Both were banned from further matches for an indefinite period and according to RT were each fined the equivalent of $40,000. Persepolios was also fined. Additionally the two men are now facing a public flogging of 74 lashes which will take place at the football ground.
Judge Valiollah has said that Rezaei and Nostrati may have violated Iran's chastity law, in which case they could also receive two months in prison in additon to the lashes. Valiollah stressed the immoral nature of the bottom pinching incident saying
"It is even worse to perform these actions before the eyes of thousands of spectators and TV cameras."

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