'Immoral' Iranian players feel pinch of federation
Two Iranian footballers have felt the wrath of the country's national federation for "immoral" on-field behaviour which included one player pinching the other's bottom, Iranian state television revealed.
Defender Mohammad Nosrati was suspended for an "indefinite period" after YouTube pictures of a live televised match showed him pinching the bottom of Persepolis teammate Sheys Rezaei during a goal celebration against rivals Damash Gilan.
In another YouTube video Rezaei is shown hugging another, unidentified teammate to celebrate Persepolis's winning goal in the final minutes of a 3-2 win.
Rezaei suffered the same fate as Nosrati as Iranian football officials took a dim view of the players' intimate approach to celebrating goals.
"Nosrati and Rezaei have been suspended for an indefinite period from all football-related activities for their immoral behaviour," said the federation's disciplinary chief Ismail Hasanzadeh, quoted by Iranian state television.
Both players have also been suspended by Tehran-based Persepolis, which is backed financially by the government, and have been ordered to pay fines of 500 million rials (around $40,000) each.
In recent years the Iranian federation has toughened the rules governing on-field behaviour including sanctioning the use of foul language by players and spectators.
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