Iranian soccer player fined & suspended for hugging female fan

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Iranian soccer player fined & suspended for hugging female fan

Iran and Esteghlal goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini has been fined and banned for one match after hugging a female fan who ran onto the field.

The woman breached security and approached Hosseini on the pitch after their game against Aluminum Arak two weeks ago.

Security attempted to stop her, but she managed to reach the player, who gave her a very quick hug before they were able to remove both her and Hosseini.

This act sparked controversy in Iran, where public contact between men and women who do not belong to the same family circle is not permitted.

And Hosseini has now been slapped with a hefty fine of three billion Iranian rials - approximately $4,500 - and a one-game suspension for his "unprofessional" actions.

READ MORE: Panama's female soccer player threatens to quit national team after being 'fat-shamed' by federation president

The incident also reignited discussions about restrictions on women in Iranian stadiums.

For 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran did not allow women to attend stadiums, a taboo that was broken in 2019 when a match against Cambodia was attended by 3,500 women, under pressure from FIFA.

Since then, limited numbers of women have been allowed into stadiums.

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