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Iran Suspends, Fines its International Goalkeeper After He Hugged a Woman At Match End

  • Hossein Hosseini, goalkeeper of Esteghlal Tehran, was officially suspended by the Iranian Football Federation for “misbehaving towards match officials”

Hossein Hosseini, Iran’s international goalkeeper, has been suspended and fined by the Iranian Football Federation after hugging a female fan who jumped onto the pitch at the Arak Stadium after the Iran Pro League match between Esteghlal Tehran and Aluminium Arak.

The fan, who was wearing a hijab, managed to reach Hossein Hosseini, who briefly hugged her and calmed her down.

Security officers took the Esteghlal FC goalkeeper to the dressing room while the woman returned to the stands.

The daily ‘Khabar Varzeshi’ reports that Hossein Hosseini, who has 11 caps for Iran, was suspended for one match and fined 4,400 euros for “misbehaving towards the match security officers”.

The death of Sahar Khodayari, the “blue girl”, changed the history of football in Iran

In 2019, women returned to football stadiums in the Islamic Republic of Iran after a 40-year ban.

The rules were changed after the death of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari, who blew herself up after learning she could be sentenced to six months in jail for trying to enter a football stadium disguised as a man to watch the match between Esteghlal and UAE club Al Ain.

Khodayari, known as the “blue girl” after the colours of her team, Esteghlal, spent two days in Gharchak jail for this and was released pending trial, but, when she learned she could face a six-month jail sentence, she set herself on fire.

After suffering burns to 90 percent of her body, the young woman died in a Tehran hospital on 9 September 2019 and her death, in addition to making her a symbol of the struggle for equality, provoked numerous reactions, including from FIFA.

Its president, Gianni Infantino, announced on 22 September that Iran will allow women to enter the Azadi Stadium on Thursday to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Iran and Cambodia.



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