Iran equipment official charged with sexual harassment

Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:58am EDT
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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean police said on Tuesday they have charged an official with Iran's Asian Games delegation with sexual harassment and banned him from leaving the country following a complaint by a female volunteer at a soccer stadium.

The alleged incident occurred on Monday at Ansan Wa Stadium, one of the venues being used for the football competition at the Games in Incheon, west of Seoul.

Police said a 38-year-old Iranian man had been charged without physical detention and that while he had admitted touching the volunteer he did not consider his actions illegal.

An official from the Incheon Asian Games organisers (IAGOC) told Reuters on Tuesday that the Iranian was responsible for looking after the football team's equipment.

The volunteer said she had been touched by the Iranian official when they were taking a photo together, IAGOC said.

"We will have strong punishment ready for future perpetrators if anything like this incident happens again," said the IAGOC official.

"With the permission of the Olympic Council of Asia, we will come up with measures including bans from the Games and preventing them from leaving the country."

The 17th Asiad officially opens on Friday but the soccer competition kicked off on Sunday.

The Iranian men's football team were beaten 4-1 by Vietnam at the stadium on Monday.

(Writing by Peter Rutheford; Reporting by Narae Kim; Editing by Julian Linden)