Iranian football players in Australia for the Asian Cup have been warned not to take photos with female fans or risk facing punishment from Iran’s football federation.
Iranian expats have turned out to watch the team play in the Asian Cup finals, including many excited female fans hoping to catch the eye of the Iranian footballers.
Women at matches have unfurled Iranian flags scrawled with marriage proposals for certain Iranian players.
Women are not allowed to attend men’s sporting matches in Iran, and photos of “inappropriately dressed” female fans have been censored in Iranian coverage of the matches.
Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee have warned the soccer players they are “not allowed to pose for selfies with female fans,” according to a UK Telegraph report.
“They (the women) may later use these photos for political ransom against our country or sue the players for harassment”, head of the Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee, Ali Akbar Mohamedzade said.
“If the players refuse to act according to our clear instructions then we will be left with no option but to deal with them.”
The warning came after images surfaced on social media of the Iranian sportsmen with female fans at matches.
“In some of the selfies that our players have taken with the fans we can see they appear next to people whose appearance we regard as being against our moral principles,” Mr Mohamedzade said.
— Bæhar (@dead_cowcake) January 16, 2015