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Fact Check: Cristiano Ronaldo Sentenced To 99 Lashes By Iranian Justice System For Hugging A Woman? Viral Claim Is False


A video of Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo embracing Iranian artist Fatemeh Hamami while on a visit to the country to play in the AFC Champions League match against Persepolis in September is going viral on social media. While sharing this video, people on social media claimed Ronaldo had been sentenced to 99 lashes by the Iranian justice system “for hugging an unmarried woman,” which is considered adultery in Iran.

A Facebook user shared this video and wrote, “Iran sentences Cristiano Ronaldo to 99 lashes for touching a single woman Fátima Hamami (a painter with 85% body paralysis) who gave him a painting. Islamic courts accuse him of adultery. The sentence will be carried out if he returns to the country.”

This Facebook post can be seen here.

It is being widely shared on Facebook and X with a similar claim.

OpIndia also reported the same. However, the latter updated the report.


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be FALSE.

In the initial investigation, we did an open keyword search and came across a Tweet by the Iranian Embassy in Spain who denied the reports and claims of Ronaldo facing ’99 lashes’ for touching an unmarried woman in Iran.

The embassy wrote, “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 travelled 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.”

According to the report of the Iranian news agency IRNA dated September 19, 2023, “A disabled Iranian fan and painter was warmly welcomed by Cristiano Ronaldo when she came to Tehran’s Espinas Palace Hotel to meet the Al-Nassr superstar. The story began when Fatemeh said in an Instagram post that she wished to see Ronaldo in Tehran. When Ronaldo and his teammates came to Tehran for an ACL match against Iran’s FC Persepolis, the officials of the Iranian club talked with the officials of Al-Nassr to make the necessary arrangements for a meeting between Fatemeh and Ronaldo. On Tuesday, Fatemeh’s dream came true and she met the Portuguese legendary footballer in the hotel.

Fatemeh presented Ronaldo two portraits of him which she had painted herself and Ronaldo signed his No.7 Al-Nassr T-shirt and gave it to Fatemeh. Nowhere the report mention about the adultery charges.

Thus, we can conclusively say that the claims of Ronaldo facing adultery charges by the Iranian government are false.

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