Two Iranian soccer players may face up to two months in prison and 74 lashes because one of them pressed his hand into the other’s behind as they jumped on other players in celebration of a victory. While similar things happen regularly at sporting matches around the world, even an inadvertent touching is viewed as immoral in Iran. In this case, it seems clear that Mohammad Nosrati was really trying to push Sheys Rezaei on top of the pile.
Iran’s football federation has suspended both players and fined them $40,000. Further punishments will depend on what “other authorities” decide. One judge has already declared that this incident is a “violation of public chastity.”
Besides the absurdity of the punishments, it is equally absurd that Rezaei is being punished for jumping on other players and having his butt groped momentarily. The Iranian government must be convinced that these two are closet homosexuals in a country that has publicly declared there are no homosexuals.
If the Iranians had ignored this, then no one would pay attention to it. By making this a huge issue, Iran is just reiterating that it is run by a bunch of narrow-minded and sexually repressed old men.
The religious fundamentalists in charge of Iran would go nuts if they came to the United States. Their first problem would be getting though the TSA’s groping inspections without falling into an anti-gay fit.