Renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo may potentially face legal repercussions in Iran, including a sentence of ’99 lashes for adultery,’ due to a photograph with a painter, according to reports originating from the country.
Iranian media outlets have alleged that numerous lawyers within Iran have filed a formal complaint against the Al-Nassr star, citing a picture taken during his visit to the country in September as the basis for their concerns.
During his visit to Tehran, the capital of Iran, Ronaldo, who is currently involved with Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez, represented Al-Nassr in a game against Persepolis in the group stage of the Asian Champions League.
While in Iran, the Portuguese international had an encounter with Iranian painter Fatima Hamimi, who had crafted a picture exclusively for him and wished to present it to Ronaldo.
Reports suggest that Ronaldo kissed Hamimi on the cheek, gave her a signed shirt, and posed for a photograph in which he embraced her, actions that have drawn criticism from Iranian legal professionals.
This reaction stems from the fact that, according to Iranian law, physical contact with a married woman is deemed equivalent to committing adultery.
Hamimi, an ardent admirer of the Portuguese star, is reportedly afflicted by paralysis, with her physical condition estimated to be at 85%.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Iranian network Sharq Emroz stated that the Iranian justice system swiftly responded to the photo, issuing a sentence of 99 lashes for Ronaldo upon his next visit to Iran.
Currently, Al-Nassr is participating in the group stage of the Asian Champions League, grouped with Persepolis from Iran, Al-Duhail from Qatar, and Istiklol from Tajikistan.
Although Ronaldo will not be returning to Iran during this phase of the tournament, the possibility of him setting foot on Iranian soil again cannot be completely ruled out if Al-Nassr qualifies for the knockout rounds.
In the event that he does return, authorities in Iran could potentially arrest him in order to enforce the sentence.
However, as Marca has reported, a judge may choose to pardon the sentence if the actions are deemed non-punishable or if Ronaldo expresses remorse.
Ronaldo has been in a relationship with Georgina Rodriguez since 2016, and the couple shares two children, Alana Martina and Bella Esmeralda.
Rodriguez is also the mother of Ronaldo’s three other children: Cristiano Jr., as well as twins Eva and Mateo, who were born via surrogate.
Following Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr, Rodriguez and the children relocated to Saudi Arabia, a transfer that was confirmed on New Year’s Eve last year.