Two footballers from the Iranian club, Persepolis, are facing 74 lashes after an “immoral” goal celebration on the pitch.
Defender Mohammad Nosrati pinched the bottom of his teammate Sheys Rezaei after Persepolis scored one of their goals in a clash against Damash Gilan, while the match was being broadcast live on national TV.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Islamic Republic of Iran, carrying a penalties ranging from jail time or even death for those convicted of violating the law.
So the players “immoral behavior” just couldn’t go unnoticed by the authorities. The duo was banned from playing football for an “indefinite period” and fined the equivalent of $40.000 each.
But the players’ punishment may not end there as judge, Valiollah Hosseini, told the local Fars news agency that Nosrati and Rezaei might also have violated the public chastity law.
“It is even worse to perform these actions before the eyes of thousands of spectators and TV cameras,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the judge, the penalty for breaking the chastity laws can be up to two months in prison as well as 74 lashes.
The flogging is reportedly going to take place at the same football ground, where Nosrati touched Rezaei’s bottom.