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  Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Red plight for footballers
Eight members of the Iran national football team are in hot water for allegedly associating with prostitutes.

The players were rumbled after a swoop on an illegal brothel.

The police claimed to have found incriminating photographs during the raid in Tehran, which led them to the stars.

As a result, two have already had between 70 and 170 lashes of the whip and the rest can expect more of the same.

The Iran squad narrowly missed out on a place in this year's World Cup finals after losing a play-off to the Republic of Ireland.

Lacklustre

Perhaps there's a link.

After all, Brazil coach Felipe Scolari imposed a sex ban on his players, allowing them to get on with the job in hand.

Felipe Scolari (left) and Rivaldo
OK, now you can have sex!

And England's players knew their wives and girlfriends were waiting for them after the quarter-final with the Brazilians.

Maybe they were saving themselves. In fact, judging by that lacklustre second half display, that would explain a lot.

Still, at least the FA haven't introduced the whip as a punishment yet - although knowing some of the players in the top flight, they'd probably enjoy it.

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