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Taleqani says Iran will compete in world wrestling event in US

President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF), Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, said on Tuesday that the freestyle wrestlers of the country will compete in the world championship in the United States, IRNA reported from Shahr-e Kord, in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province.

Talking to IRNA on the sidelines of the annual meeting of provincial Wrestling Board, the IWF boss said his office follows the government's policies and there is no problem for participation of Iranian wrestlers in the world event in New York on September 11-13.

Touching upon the Asian competitions in New Delhi, Taleqani said Iran comprises young wrestlers and that the veterans like Alireza Dabir do not wrestle in the Asian bouts.

He also referred to the failure of top Iranian wrestlers in Takhti Cup, adding that the main reason behind their loss was lack of serious training.

The future of Iran's wrestling belongs to those who train hard, said Taleqani and added, "for this reason, the federation count on the junior and young wrestlers."

Asked about the absence of top teams in the international wrestling tournament, Takhti Cup, the IWF head said the war in neighboring Iraq, outbreak of fatal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia, and lack of prize-money were the main reasons for holding the event free of world-class teams.

Taleqani is to take a trip to Switzerland and discuss Iran's ban with Raphael Martinetti, head of world wrestling's governing body FILA.

The world body has banned Iran for four years as of 2002 from hosting any international event and World Cup, Taleqani announced earlier.

He said FILA has also urged the Iranian federation to pay 20,000 dollars in fine.

Martinetti said the brawl by some spectators during the 2002 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Tehran has prompted FILA to make such a decision.

Taleqani quoted FILA in the first session of IWF's Board of Directors.

Seyed Mohammad Khadem has asked Taleqani to deal with the illogical decision of FILA and urged the world body to give back 20,000 dollars.

He added FILA does not reserve the right to issue such an order and the Iranian federation must write a strongly-worded letter to FILA.

... Payvand News - 5/28/03 ... --

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