INTERNATIONAL

Tottenham-Manchester United: Iran TV censor over 100 times

The television broadcaster in the recent Premier League clash chose to show images of the stadium's exterior rather than the offensive alternative.

Tottenham-Manchester United: Iran TV censor over 100 times

It may be the 21st century but countries around the globe still have very different attitudes to life. Another example of this was related to the recent Premier League encounter between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, where Iranian television cut away from the match during play more than a hundred times. And this censorship was reportedly nothing to do with football.

Female legs chopped for Iranian viewers

The concern for the Iranian television decision makers were that the legs of Sian Massey-Ellis, the assistant referee of the match, were being shown to viewers. She was, naturally, wearing the correct uniform for her job, a pair of shorts. And for this reason, anyone watching the broadcaster’s coverage was instead shown a generic image of the stadium and surrounding streets.

English assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis walks off after Manchester United's 3-1 win in the English Premier League football match against Tottenham Hotspur.

My Stealthy Freedom, a civil rights group in the country who campaign against gender discrimination, made the claim that television censors were ‘rattled’ to see the female assistant referee wearing shorts.

“The television censors were rattled by the presence of a female referee in shorts,” they posted. “Their solution was to cut away from the action to views of London's backstreets, which made a mockery of the game.

“At the end of the game, one of the commentators joked that he hoped the viewers enjoyed the geographic show.

The image shown to Iranian viewers when Sian Massey-Ellis' legs were on view.

The image shown to Iranian viewers when Sian Massey-Ellis' legs were on view. (Credit: https://www.mystealthyfreedom.org)

Censorship is in the DNA of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We should not normalise this practice. This is not our culture. This is the ideology of a repressive regime.”

At the end of the match, one of the commentators joked that he hoped the fans had enjoyed the "geographical spectacle" they had been shown during the match.