Iran to drop tattooed footballers from national team

Tehran: The Iranian football federation has been asked to drop tattooed players from the national team, a media report said. The Ethics Committee of Iran’s Football Federation had issued repeated warnings to players, saying that having a tattoo was unprofessional, The Tehran Times reported on Monday.

The Iranian players, who have tattoos on their arms, always enter the playing field with long-sleeved tops. Ashkan Dejagah and Sardar Azmoon had been summoned by the Ethics Committee for revealing tattoos on their arms during Team Melli’s games.

Iran considers athletes to be role models responsible for promoting “Islamic values” to the younger generation. Iranian state media often refers to tattoos as a symbol of “Westernisation” or part of a Western “cultural invasion” of the Islamic society. “Tattoos on the bodies of players is against Iranian culture and is detrimental to our society,” a top official said.

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