Iranian men's volleyball team apologises over handshake faux-pas
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As almost any athlete can attest, good sportsmanship is a virtue touted from the very start of one’s career – help an injured player up, keep swear words and insults to a minimum, don’t be a sore loser… But above all, be sure to thank the opposing team and the referees with a cordial handshake at the end of the game.
Basic good manners, right? Well, not if you’re a male member of Iran’s professional volleyball team and one of the referees happens to be a woman. In that case, you should forgo common courtesy and definitely not shake her hand. Why? Because social customs override the merits of good sportsmanship, and in Iran it is forbidden for men and women who are not related to shake hands.
Unfortunately for the Iranian men’s volleyball team, however, several of its members did shake the hand of a female referee after winning a match against Afghanistan earlier this week. More unfortunate yet, the offending gesture was recorded and broadcast live, prompting Iran’s state-owned media to describe their behaviour as “stunning and inappropriate”.
The team has since issued a public apology, according to Iranian media. Watch the video below…
Video posted on Youtube by footballitarin.