Esteghlal keeper Hosseini sanctioned for hugging female fan

April 22 – Esteghlal goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini has been summoned by Iranian authorities to explain why he embraced a female fan at the end of a game against Alumimum Arak.

Showing affection or intimacy between opposite sexes in public is forbidden in Iran but when a woman ran on to the pitch trying to avoid security and ran on to the pitch without wearing the compulsory hijab, she was reportedly hugged by Hosseini.

Immediately afterwards Hosseini was apparently involved in a scuffle with police while the whole stadium chanted ‘Shameless’.

The incident took place last week when the woman was trying to escape guards who were chasing her for not wearing the hijab.

In what smacks of an absurd over-reaction, Iran’s authorities immediately suspended Hosseini for one match and fined him three billion rials (about $4,500) pending his explanation. His actions were deemed “unprofessional and outside a player’s legal duties”.

In response to the sanction, Hosseini commented: “I will pay the fine, for the sake of that lady.”

The case has highlighted the wider issue of women’s access to stadiums in Iran – a topic of international concern for several years.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716113972labto1716113972ofdlr1716113972owedi1716113972sni@w1716113972ahsra1716113972w.wer1716113972dna1716113972


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