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Iranian footballer banned for life and fined over goal dance

April 26, 2000, Teheran (dpa) - An Iranian football player has been banned for life and fined after engaging in a wild dance during which he pulled down his shorts to celebrate a goal, the Teheran Sports newspaper reported Wednesday. Video clip here

Mohsen Rassuli, a young striker for the Teheran club Saypa, scored the winning goal in last week's Nations Cup semi-final against the Teheran Pas club in the 119th minute and, jumping for joy, not only took off his shirt but also pulled down his shorts and ran around the field in his underwear.

The game was broadcast by the state-run television, which usually cuts out such scenes even if they occur in international games.

Rassuli's case was considered so grave that it was referred to the country's judiciary rather than being considered by the disciplinary committee of the Iranian Football Federation.

The court banned the young player from football for life and ordered him to pay 100 million Rials (more than 33,000 dollars), half of it immediately and the other half in instalments.

The verdict is regarded by Iranian sports circles as excessively harsh and it is believed that the ban may be lifted although the fine would still be imposed.

In Iran , where Islamic regulations prevail, such gestures in public are considered very obscene and result in fines or even prison terms.


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