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Iranian Goalkeeper Banned for Hugging Female Fan; Deemed ‘Unprofessional’ and Contrary to Islamic Laws on Interactions with the Opposite Sex


An Iranian goalkeeper has been handed a fine and one-match suspension after hugging a female fan whose hijab had fallen because it was ‘unprofessional’ and broke Islamic laws about contact with the opposite sex. 

Hossein Hosseini, goalkeeper for Esteghlal, one of the top teams in Iran was pushed by the Iranian football federation after he embraced a fan who had made her way to the side of the pitch. 

Hijabs, or headscarves, have been compulsory for women in Iran since the 1979 revolution, enforcing what is widely considered by many Muslim women around the world to be a matter of choice. 

Footage shows the moment when the fan made her way onto the pitch with her hair showing after her hijab had fallen, where she was accosted by security. 

Hosseini can then be seen making his way over and appearing to gesture for the security to step away as there was no danger before embracing her. 

According to Iranian publication Khabar Varzeshi, Hosseini was handed a fine of around £3,800 and a ban for one game for his actions, which were reportedly deemed ‘unprofessional and beyond the legal duties of a player’.

The Esteghlal captain then reportedly made a public comment after being called into the federation disciplinary committee to explain himself, allegedly saying: ‘I will pay the fine, for the sake of that lady’. 

Yet reports suggest that these comments did not go down well, with the IRNA – Iran’s official news agency – reporting that Hosseini could face a further penalty as a result of his public comments. 

The report further claims that the decision to punish Hosseini is thought to be in violation of ‘existing regulations’, given that there is no specific law against his actions, aside from breaking Islamic rules about opposite sexes being in physical contact. 

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