Iranian state television reportedly failed to broadcast a German top flight football match because the referee was a woman.

The Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Ausberg was not shown because German referee Bibiana Steinhaus was officiating, German press reported, citing Iranian media.

Strict rules in the Islamic Republic do not allow the broadcast of images of women showing large amounts of flesh. Ms Steinhaus’s football shorts are thought to have been too much for the religious censors.

Natalie Amiri, Iran correspondent for German public broadcaster ARD, tweeted that the broadcast in Iran had been cancelled “at the last minute,” asking, “and who is responsible? Of course it’s Bibi again.”

Football is hugely popular in Iran and has become a cultural flashpoint for the Islamic republic.

The Iranian women’s football team play in hijab, long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

Iranian female football fans were allowed into the main national stadium for the first time in 37 years during the World Cup after the government relaxed its ban on women at sporting events.

Women had not been allowed inside sporting venues since soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution and successive governments have failed to persuade the religious establishment to budge.

Those rejecting mixed audiences have in the past said women should not be exposed to the swearing of football fans and police do not have enough female officers to provide security.

In Iran, movie censors cut scenes and frames showing women in clothing deemed to be too revealing. But reports said that this would have been impossible for the football match as Steinhaus featured so heavily.

Source » telegraph