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The head of the youth academy for one of Iran's top soccer clubs, Alireza Mansurian, is facing dismissal after the club's male and female youth teams played behind closed doors, violating rules of separation of the sexes.

"The Guardian" reports that Mansurian, a former star who played for Iran at the 1998 World Cup in France, is also under investigation by the state governing authority on sport.

Iranian media reported the match finished with a score of 7-0 to the male team at Esteghlal's Marghoubkar stadium on Tuesday. Officials insist the two teams came into contact only briefly because their training sessions overlapped. Mansourian said the men's team wandered on to the playing field 10 minutes before the end of the women's session but were promptly ordered off by security staff.

"I was not present at the stadium but I heard that such an incident took place. However, on examination, I concluded that the incident did not happen in the way it is alleged," he said. "Esteghlal football club is committed to moral values and will take action against wrongdoers according to the law. Action will be quickly taken against those involved and the culprits will be legally punished."

-- Dan Wisniewski

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