An Iranian football coach has expressed criticism regarding sport censorship in Iran after coverage of a female referee raising the hand of a male wrestler was banned from TV.
Mahmoud Fekri, who serves as the head coach of Havadar football club, voiced his concerns on Tuesday, noting the scene's ban from state TV.
The incident occurred at the Belgrade Wrestling World Championships, during which a female referee raised the hand of Iranian wrestler Hassan Yazdani.
Iran's state TV is tightly controlled by the office of Iran's authoritarian leader, Ali Khamenei, and has been experiencing a decline in viewership due to its extensive religious programming and heavy-handed censorship of news. Critics argue that it serves primarily as a propaganda tool, benefiting from significant government subsidies without any accountability.
Athletes have come under fire in the last year for supporting protests. Those who have spoken out have undergone social media bans, bank account freezes and even pay cuts. Those who have competed without hijab on the world stage have either been forced into exile or arrested and dealt severe legal consequences.