Portugal football star, Cristiano Ronaldo has found himself in trouble after a court in Iran reportedly found him guilty of adultery and sentenced him to 99 lashes.
This means the star would have to avoid visiting the country for now.
Ronaldo got into trouble over a heartfelt gesture during a visit to the country last month.
Ronaldo was in Iran to participate in Al-Nassr’s Asian Champions League game against Persepolis on September 19.
The Portuguese, before the match, was greeted by fans who showered him with gifts, including a pair of ultra-realistic drawings created by painter Fatima Hamimi. Fatima, who has a disability and creates art with her feet, presented the artwork to Ronaldo.
In gratitude, the 38-year-old footballer embraced the artist and planted a peck on her forehead.
While the gesture appeared entirely harmless, it has reportedly stirred controversy in Iran.
According to multiple reports, in Iran, touching another woman while in a relationship can be considered adultery.
Ronaldo, who has been in a long-term relationship with Georgina Rodriguez, now finds himself entangled in this complex cultural issue.
According to several Iranian outlets, Ronaldo has purportedly been sentenced to ’99 lashes’ as punishment for his actions.
The Iranian government, has, however, denied the claim on the football icon.
In a statement, Iran said, “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 could overshadow 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. His sincere and humane meeting with Fatemeh Hamami was also praised and admired by both the people and the country’s sports authorities.”