Iranian soccer players involved in “butt grab” goal celebration could face lashings

November 2, 2011

Perspolis teammates Mohammad Nosrati (L) and Sheys Rezaei are under fire for their "immoral acts" during goal celebrations. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

But a recent goal celebration during a nationally-televised soccer match in Iran could land a pair of players in prison.

Persepolis player Mohammad Nosrati appeared to shove his hand between teammate Sheys Rezaei’s buttocks as the two jumped atop a pile of teammates to celebrate a goal.

Members of parliament and sports officials have called for the “swift punishment” of both players and on Tuesday, the semiofficial Fars New Agency reported that the nationally-televised gesture could result in public lashings on the field.

(Read the full report from the Post’s Thomas Erdbrink and watch the video of the celebration in question here.)

Nosrati and Rezaei were both immediately suspended for an unspecified period and fined nearly $40,000 each, according to Fars.

Judge Valiollah Hosseini told Fars that in ultra-conservative Iran, “this action can be considered a violation of public chastity. The punishment of this crime is prison up to two months and 74 lashes.”

Persepolis coach Ali Parvin encouraged Iran’s football federation to offer guidance rather than harsh punishment to his players, even joking, “come execute them if it relieves you.”

One can only wonder what the punishment would be for a Randy Moss mooning.

■ FIFA banned hijabs — Islamic headscarfs — in 2007, a ruling that caused the Iranian women’s national team to forfeit a 2012 Olympic qualifier against Jordan.

Last week FIFA vice president Prince Alil Al Hussein announced he will propose that the sport’s international governing body should institute “general principles” for the use of hijabs on the field.

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