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

Iranian authorities arrested several prominent 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 allows non-Muslims to consume alcohol for religious purposes. Dancing with the opposite sex is prohibited.

Iran’s YJC news agency said the party was a birthday event and that all but one of those detained 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 allegedly violating the strict dress code for women.

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

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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 expressing support for the protests.

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