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Iran footballers prohibited from posing for selfies with women at the Asian Cup

3.65K   //    20 Jan 2015, 03:38 IST
Iranian supporter holding the national flag with the message “Will Alireza marry me ?

Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee has prohibited footballers representing Iran to take “selfies” with female fans. The committee threatened them with strict actions against players who fail to follow the rule. The team are playing in the Asian Cup finals and thousands of Australia’s Iranian are cheering the team on.

“Players are not allowed to pose for selfies with female fans," Ali Akbar Mohamedzade said. "They (the women) may later use these photos for political ransom against our country or sue the players for harassment.

"If the players refuse to act according to our clear instructions then we will be left with no option but to deal with them."

Iran officials not pleased with Iranian women in Australia

Football has a large fan following in Iran. At home, sex segregation rules prevent women from watching men’s game but the same rules do not apply abroad. Officials in Iran were alarmed after seeing photographs appearing on social media of celebrity players posing with Iranian women expats. 

Images with “inappropriately dressed” women have been censored and kept out of the media coverage of the tournament in Iran. 

On social media, a few women have become very well known due to the photographs, especially the woman who is seen displaying the national flag with the central white strip carrying the message written in English “Will Alireza marry me?” The message was for the popular goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi. 

Many of the 70,000 Iranians living in Australia are following the team’s progress in the tournament. 

National coach under fire for selfies

The national coach, Carlos Queiroz was questioned by Iranian authorities for the team’s behaviour. Mr. Mohamedzade said, “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.

"I have therefore had to contact the national coach and questioned him about this issue and he has explicitly denied having agreed to posting of such selfies on social networks”

Iran has won the Asian Cup three times in the past.