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Learning English - Words in the News
26 January, 2009 - Published 16:24 GMT
Mixed footie match angers Iran
Esteghlal Football Club

Iran's leading football club has apologised after men's and women's teams played each other contrary to Islamic law. Esteghlal football club, which was top of the Iranian league, has penalised three officials and made an official apology. Jon Leyne reports:

Listen to the story

The match took place on a training ground between the Esteghlal women's team and their men's youth team. Mixed sports are strictly forbidden in Iran, and women are not even allowed to go into football grounds to watch men's games.

As Esteghlal is owned by the government, there was an immediate inquiry. The two coaches involved have been suspended for a year and fined and the head of the club's academy has also been fined. He claimed that the two teams only came into contact briefly after their training sessions overlapped and he insisted his club was committed to ''moral values'', as he put it.

But the Iranian media say the two teams played a match in which the boy's team won seven - nil.

Jon Leyne, BBC News, Tehran

Listen to the words

a training ground
an area of land used for a particular purpose (here, to allow football players to practice and improve their fitness)

Mixed sports
competitive physical activities where both men and women take part at the same time

an official process of asking questions with the purpose of discovering the facts about something negative that has happened

people whose job it is to teach others how to improve at a sport

if you are suspended from work, you are temporarily not allowed to work because you have done something wrong

punished by being ordered to pay money for breaking a rule or law

came into contact briefly after their training sessions overlapped
were both together on the same football ground for a short time because their scheduled times of practising partly coincided

maintained, firmly and repeatedly said

committed to
devoted/completely loyal to

as he put it
to quote his words, in his own words

To take away:
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