Iranian Embassy denies reports Cristiano Ronaldo was sentenced to 99 lashes for adultery after Instagram photo
The Iranian Embassy in Madrid has denied reports that Cristiano Ronaldo was sentenced to 99 lashes in Iran for "adultery".
According to Mundo Deportivo, Iranian media have claimed that a large number of lawyers in the country have filed a complaint over the Al-Nassr forward due to the picture which was taken in his visit there back in September.
Ronaldo, who is in a relationship with Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez, visited Tehran, the capital of Iran, with Al-Nassr to face Persepolis in the group stage of the Asian Champions League in September.
While there, the Portuguese international met Iranian painter Fatima Hamimi, who wanted to give a picture to the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, which she made especially for him.
It's said that Ronaldo kissed her on the cheek and gave her a signed shirt, while he also posed for a photo in which he hugged her, which has attracted the ire of Iranian lawyers. This is because in Iranian law, touching a married woman or a woman who is not your wife is equivalent to adultery. Hamimi is said to be '85 per cent paralysed' and is a massive fan of the Portuguese star.
Sharq Emroz, a TV station in the country, said the Iranian justice system had already sentenced the football icon to 99 lashes the next time he travels to the country.
However, the Iranian Embassy in Madrid has now released a statement to rubbish the reports.
"We strongly deny the issuance of any sentence against any international athlete in Iran," a statement read.
"It is of concern that the publication of such ill founded news could cast a shadow over crimes against humanity and war crimes against the oppressed Palestinian nation. It should be noted that Cristiano Ronaldo traveled to Iran on September 18 and 19 to play in an official soccer match and was very well received by the people and the authorities," the statement added.
"His sincere and humane meeting with Fatemeh Hamami was also praised and admired by both the people and the country's sports authorities," it further stated.
Al-Nassr are competing in the group stage of the Asian Champions League where they are in Group E alongside Iranian side Persepolis, Qatar side Al-Duhail and Takikistan's Istiklol.