Iran bans footballers for 'immoral' goal celebration

Mohammed Nosrati, of Persepolis, but playing here for Iran's national team on 11 January 2011 Mohammed Nosrati also plays for Iran's national team

The Iranian football federation has given indefinite suspensions to two players for "immoral acts" during goal-scoring celebrations, state TV says.

Footage posted online shows Persepolis defender Mohammed Nosrati squeezing teammate Sheis Rezaei's bottom.

Another video seems to show Rezaei squeezing a teammate later in the 3-2 Persepolis victory over Damash Gilan.

The game was broadcast live to millions. Nosrati and Rezaei have said they did not intend to offend anyone.

The two "have been banned indefinitely from all football activities for committing immoral acts", AFP news agency quoted Ismail Hasanzadeh, the head of the Iranian football federation's disciplinary committee, as saying.

AFP said the two players have also been suspended by Persepolis and fined nearly $40,000 (£25,000) each.

The Islamic republic's football federation has been trying for years to curb what it considers immoral behaviour on the field and foul language among players and spectators.

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