Soccer players in hot water after kissing female fan, Iranian website reports
Three Iranian soccer players are facing jail for kissing a woman fan in the Islamic state where physical contact between unrelated men and women is legally forbidden, an Iranian website reported on Monday.
Under Iran's Islamic Sharia law, imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution, violators of the law can be sentenced to lashes, fines or imprisonment.
"The arrest warrants have been issued for the three because of their un-Islamic behavior," said the Rajanews website, quoting an unnamed source. It did not identify the three or the football team they played for.
Judiciary officials were not available for comment.
The website said the three fell foul of the Islamic Republic's strict moral code at one of Iran's airports.
"Their coach is trying to prevent his players from being imprisoned," said the website. "But he has been told that the players should be responsible for their wrongdoing."
An Iranian actress was given a suspended sentence of 74 lashes in 2003 for kissing a film director at an awards ceremony.
Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005 with the backing of conservative clerics, tighter controls on "immoral behavior" have been imposed in Iran. Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a disputed vote last year, which the opposition says was rigged. Authorities deny the claim.
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