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Iran vows to revive Iraq sports, says Mehralizadeh

Iran will share all its experiences with Iraq to revive the sports of the war-shattered neighboring country, said Mohsen Mehralizadeh Tuesday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Iran's physical education chief made the remark in a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports, Ali Faeq, at his office in Tehran.

Mehralizadeh, who is the vice-president added Iran has made great successes in different fields like the public, disabled, and women's sports in the past years.

The country will transfer its experiences to Iraq after the two sides signed a memo.

He voices Iran's readiness for exchanging coaches, players, and sporting goods and holding different coaching and management courses.

The ranking official added the Iranian engineers are building several sports complexes at the four corners of the country, the most important the 70,000- and 50,000-seater stadiums in Tabriz and Isfahan, eastern and central Iran, respectively.

Mehralizadeh expressed his satisfaction over the meeting saying, "We are very delighted that the sports officials of the two Muslim states are discussing the future of the youth and athletic fields. "Iraq will need no country's support to restore its sports when the two countries ink the joint protocol."

Faeq expressed his gratitude to Iranian sports officials for their unsparing support and added, "We too make every effort to get Iraq's sports back on track by applying Iran's invaluable experiences."

The minister said Iraq has some six million young people but they did not think of sports seriously due to the terrible atmosphere and wrong policies of the country.

"Now we have a new view on sport and find it a means for attracting the youth and preventing them from going astray and establishing a friendly atmosphere among the Iraqi youth and sportsmen of other countries," said the visiting Iraqi minister.

The regulations in Iraq's sports sector have not changed in the past 40 years, said Faeq, adding over 65 percent of the sports centers and facilities have been ruined in war and the country is in dire need of neighboring Iran's support to reconstruct them.

He invited Mehralizadeh to visit his country and said his office would send an official invitation to Iran soon.

Mehralizadeh and Faeq signed a protocol on cooperation in the sports sector.

... Payvand News - 12/24/03 ... --

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