Iran footballer suspended for embracing female fan

A goalkeeper with one of Iran’s top football clubs has been suspended after he embraced a woman supporter during a championship match, sports daily Khabar Varzeshi reported on Monday.

Hossein Hosseini, 31, who plays for Tehran team Esteghlal, was suspended after the incident on April 12.

The Esteghlal fan rushed onto the pitch where stadium security attempted to detain her. Hosseini approached the woman while security staff were trying to hold her back and briefly took her into his arms.

The newspaper said Iran’s football federation fined the goalkeeper the equivalent of $4,700 and gave him a one-match suspension for “bad behaviour towards security agents at the game”.

Women were generally barred from attending football matches following the 1979 Islamic revolution, but in August 2022 they were allowed into a championship match for the first time in more than 40 years.

Hosseini has spent most of his footballing career at Esteghlal, one of the most popular clubs in the country.

He played for Iran in a 2022 World Cup match against England after the first-choice goalkeeper was injured.

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