Iran arrests prominent soccer players at mixed-gender party with alcohol

News agency says event was a birthday, and that most of those detained have been released

Illustrative: Drinking beer at a party (Robert Pavsic; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative: Drinking beer at a party (Robert Pavsic; iStock by Getty Images)

Iranian authorities have arrested several leading soccer players who attended a mixed party east of Tehran, local media reported Sunday, without identifying them or giving their exact number.

“Several current and former players of one of Tehran’s prominent football clubs were arrested last night (Saturday) at a mixed party in the city of Damavand,” Tasnim news agency said.

“Some of these players were in an abnormal state due to alcohol consumption,” it added.

Iranian law only permits non-Muslims to consume alcohol for religious purposes. Dancing with the opposite gender is forbidden.

Iran’s YJC news agency said the party was a birthday event, and that all those detained, bar one, had since been released.

The Islamic Republic has been rocked by unrest since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, following her arrest for an alleged breach of the strict dress code for women.

Iranian officials say hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest, including members of the security forces, and thousands have been arrested.

A number of current and former soccer players as well as other athletes and prominent figures have been detained or questioned by the authorities after voicing support for the protests.

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