Iran to drop tattooed players from Team Melli

March 18, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian tattooed players have reportedly no place in Iran national football team from now on.

According to the reports, the Iranian football federation has been told it must prevent to invite the tattooed players to the national team.

The Ethics Committee of Iran's Football Federation had previously issued repeated warnings to players, describing having a tattoo as unprofessional.

Iranian authorities' sensitivity is heightened for footballers, because football is one of the most popular sports on Iranian TV — with a particularly high following among families.

The Iranian players, who have tattoos on their arms, always enter the playing field with long-sleeved tops, wear a short-sleeved shirt in their team’s games.

Ashkan Dejagah and Sardar Azmoon had been summoned by the Ethics Committee of the Iranian Football Federation 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 "Westernization" or part of a Western "cultural invasion" of Islamic society.

“Tattoos on the bodies of players is against Iranian culture and is detrimental to our society,” a top official had already said.

Reporting by Masoud Hossein

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