Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo could be facing 99 lashes for conducting an “act of adultery” in Iran, according to several media reports in the country.
Ronaldo and his team travelled to Tehran last September to compete against Persepolis in the Asian Champions League, securing a 2-0 victory in the match.
While in Iran, Ronaldo presented a signed jersey to painter Fatemeh Hamami. He warmly embraced her and planted a kiss on her cheek in appreciation for her two artworks, crafted using her feet, according to a report by Spain’s national daily sports newspaper, Marca.
However, the Embassy of Iran in Spain has denied such a sentence and called the reports “a matter of concern.”
Desmentimos rotundamente la emisión de cualquier fallo judicial contra cualquier deportista internacional en Irán. Es motivo de preocupación que la publicación de noticias tan infundadas pueda eclipsar los crímenes de lesa humanidad y los crímenes de guerra contra la oprimida… pic.twitter.com/51xw40L7Gp— Embajada de Irán en España (@IraninSpain) October 13, 2023
“We strongly deny the issuance of any court ruling against any international athlete in Iran. It is a matter of concern that the publication of such unfounded news occurs,” the embassy said via an X post.
“It should be noted that Cristiano Ronaldo travelled to Iran on September 18 and 19 to play in an official soccer match, which was very well received by the people and the authorities. His sincere and humane meeting with Fatemeh Hamami was also praised and admired by both the people and the country’s sports authorities,” the post added.
Ronaldo plays for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr.