Iranian Footballers, Mohammad Nosrati And Sheys Rezaei, Could Face 74 Lashes For Goal Celebration

Iranian Footballers Could Face 74 Lashes For Affectionate Goal Celebration

Two Iranian footballers, Mohammad Nosrati and Sheys Rezaei, are facing 74 public lashes and a possible prison sentence after an "immoral" goal celebration on the pitch, Iran's state media has reported.

The teammates' affectionate goal celebration was deemed to have violated Iran's strict homosexuality laws during a domestic league game against the team Damash Gilan, when Nosrati pinched his teammate's bottom. YouTube footage of the celebration quickly went viral and was featured on many Western news websites.

Both men play for Persepolis based in the capital, Tehran. Nosrati and Rezaei were immediately fined £25,000 and banned from football indefintely for "immoral acts".

The Fars state news agency quoted a judge saying they may have violated "public chastity" laws. Judge Valiollah Hosseini told the news agency that the punishment is up to two months in prison and 74 lashes.

Both men are high-profile stars in Iran. Nosrati was a player for the national team and was nicknamed as "the Minister of Defence" for his skills.

Homosexuality is outlawed in Iran and can carry the death penalty. Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, famously used an address at Columbia University in New York to declare that gays did not "exist" in Iran.


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