Iran News ...


09/13/10

How Much Sacrifice For Palestinians?: Iranian athletes want directions on facing Israeli opponents

Source: Radio Zamaneh


Iranian wrestler, Taleb Nematpour

Iran Wrestling Federation announced that head of Iran's Physical Education Organization, Ali Saeidlou, has called on Islamic Republic's supreme leader to give them directions regarding confrontation with Israeli athletes.

ISNA reports that the head of Iran Wresting Federation maintained that there needs to be a major decision regarding this matter.

The appeal to the supreme leader comes after Taleb Nematpour, a member of Iran's national wrestling team declined facing an Israeli opponent in the world championships in Russia blaming "severe appendix pains." The withdrawal caused the team to fall behind by losing many points.

The head of Iran's Wrestling Federation said at the time: "FILA is very angry with us. They have warned us many times that we have to take a decisive step. The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel as a country. We have suffered a lot of losses due to this situation. For 30 years we have paid a high price to defend the right of Palestinian people. We must accept that these sacrifices are significant."

Iranian athletes have refused to confront Israeli athletes since the Revolution of 1979 in Iran. However, recent resistance of world federations have led the athletes to assume medical reasons for their refusal to face Israelis.

In 2004 Olympics in Athens, Iranian Judo contestant claimed injury and did not face his Israeli opponent. In Beijing, Iranian swimmer failed to swim in the same group with an Israeli due to a ruptured hernia.

In 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics Games, Iranian Tae Kwon Doe contestant did not face an Israeli opponent in the finals due to a sprained ankle which was confirmed by the tournament physicians.

Related News: Publication of Saeidlou's letter stirs debate (in Persian)

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