Iranian soccer players suspended for fanny pat

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REPORTING FROM TEHRAN -- A slap on the butt is no laughing matter to Iran’s sports overseers.

Two Iranian national soccer players were suspended Monday for celebrating a goal in an “immoral” manner, the news agency ISNA reported.


Persepolis defender Mohammad Nosrati swatted the backside of his teammate, Sheys Rezaei, while celebrating a goal Saturday in a nationally televised match.

Both players insisted the fanny pat was meant as a fun gesture. But the Iranian football federation’s disciplinary committee didn’t see the humor. The panel suspended the pair on charges of immoral offense until further notice.

More players may face suspensions, the disciplinary committee said.

The longtime manager of Persepolis, Mahmoud Khordbin, was dismissed because he failed to report the incident to the club or to the federation, ISNA reported.

Persepolis is Iran’s most popular club team and receives government financing.

Both players also reportedly received pay cuts of 15%.


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