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Iranian Broadcast Censors World Cup Program Over Host’s Clothing

Maria Komandnaya (right), shown at a previous event with Russian billionaire Sergei Gordeev, served as host of the World Cup draw broadcast.

Portions of the 2018 World Cup draw broadcast were censored in Iran because authorities decided co-host Maria Komandnaya's clothing was too revealing.

Iranian state broadcaster IRIB on December 1 blocked the first part of the show from the Kremlin Palace in Moscow that featured Komandnaya, a Russian sports journalist, and former England soccer star Gary Lineker.

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IRIB broadcast only the portion of the program that featured the draw.

During the 2014 draw ceremony, Iranian TV cut out many parts of the broadcast because of what was considered revealing clothing worn by female Brazilian TV host Fernanda Lima.

Iranian soccer star Serdar Azmoun had called for Komandnaya to cover up on the program so the ceremony could be shown in full.

IRIB has “moral guardians” who immediately interrupt live programs when they believe a woman is wearing clothing deemed inappropriate.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, dpa, The Mirror, and The Sun, Interfax, TASS, and AFP