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Iranian TV censors Tottenham v Man United match more than 100 times over woman's knees Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Iranian TV censors Tottenham v Man United match more than 100 times over woman's knees

Sian Massey-Ellis' shorts outraged the Islamic Republic's TV censors [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2021

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Iranian state TV is regularly censored over words or images that do not align with the Islamic Republic's values.
An English Premier League football clash on Sunday was censored by Iranian state TV more than 100 times due to one of the women officials wearing shorts, a civil rights group has said.

Coverage of the 90 minute-long Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United match was cut dozens of times to prevent viewers in Iran from seeing assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis wearing shorts, according to My Stealthy Freedom.

The non-profit, which fights against hijab mandates in Iran, said it was the sight of Massey-Ellis' uncovered knees that prompted the decision.

Read more: Iran spy TV show ignites controversy for second season

"The television censors were rattled by the presence of a female referee in shorts," the group posted on their site.

The match was instead spliced with shots around Tottenham Hotspur's ground whenever the match official made an appearance on screen.

The footage "made a mockery of the game", the campaigners said, noting that a commentator even laughed about the "geographic show".

"It is no secret that women are treated as second class citizens in the Islamic Republic. Now, even non-Iranians on television must be made to adhere to the country’s draconian laws," the group continued.

The match ended in a 3–1 victory for the Red Devils.

In 2019, a Bayern Munich game was not aired on Iranian TV as the referee was a woman, the campaigners said.

Iranian authorities came under fire earlier this month over the alleged censorship of the finale of a TV spy thriller when references to "the president" appear to have been replaced with "an official".


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