Iranian freestyle wrestling manager Mansour Barzegar said the sports community's support for the quake-stricken people is the least it can do at this juncture, IRNA reported from Tehran on Monday.
Attending the fundraising Golrizan ceremony in Tehran, former world champion added the Iranian people have always supported each other on the tough days.
He praised the sports society and general public for their unsparing support.
Asian Player of the Year 2003, Mehdi Mahdavikia, who was also present in the ceremony said the Iranian nation is the epitome of humanity in the world.
The Hamburg SV favorite added, "I am certain the Iranian people are second to none in the world.
"They have rushed to help their fellow countrymen immediately after the heartrending disaster of Bam and their support is praiseworthy."
The Bundesliga-bound right winger, who was spellbound by the massive turnout of the people said the sports community is sponsoring such ceremonies to commiserate with Bam quake-stricken people.
Mahdavikia expressed hope the charitable football friendlies are welcome in the country.
Bam victims need support until they afford to make a living, said the self-deprecating Mahdavikia, asking the people to keep aiding in the coming weeks.
Former national footballer of Iran, Ali Parvin, also extolled Golrizan ceremony.
The ex-Persepolis manager termed the ceremony a humanitarian act for relieving the great pain inflicted by the earthquake on Bam people.
He said aiding the quake victims should not be short-lived, adding that the people of Bam should be supported for two years to somehow regain their past position.
Golrizan started Monday afternoon at Tofiq Jahanbakht Hall, south of Shahid Shiroudi Sports Complex where scores of sportsmen, coaches, artists, and officials gathered to donate and collect the benevolent people's aid for the victims of the killer earthquake.
The President of Iranian Wrestling Federation, Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, who is among the main organizers of the ceremony said huge money has been donated before the ceremony commences.
A strong quake, 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale, rocked Bam before dawn (0158 GMT) Friday, flattening about 70 per cent of the mostly mud-brick buildings in the ancient Silk Road city, around 1,000 km (600 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran.
Some 28,000 have been so far buried and cemeteries have overflowed with corpses.
Olympic boss calls for remedy for quake-prone Iran
Head of the National Olympic Committee said in Tehran on Tuesday Iran is on the fault line, calling for a solution.
Talking to IRNA, Mostafa Hashemi-Taba added, "such disasters will happen again and we have to minimize the casualty by constructing quake-proof buildings.
"The violators (jerry-builders) should be dealt with."
He sympathized with the bereaved families, urging the people, particularly the sports community to soothe their pains.
... Payvand News - 12/30/03 ... --