an Iranian selection with political and revolutionary flavor

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As a framework for expression and rallying, football often has a close relationship with politics, even if the authorities maintain a facade to distance themselves from politics. This is especially so when FIFA president Gianni Infantino came to Qatar’s defense when many selectors wanted to criticize certain behaviors of the Gulf country, especially the condition of the workers who built the stadiums intended for this competition. “Please, let’s focus on football now. We know that football does not exist in a vacuum and we also know that there are many political challenges and challenges around the world. But please, don’t let football get dragged into every ideological or political battle.” he explained.

Exactly eleven days later, he officially called for a ceasefire in the war between Russia and Ukraine. “My appeal to all of you is to consider a one-month temporary ceasefire during the World Cup.” Leave the Swiss leader. Deserving to fight, but the stance of the head of the supreme body that governs football, two postures that seem to be two fast and indicate something, no matter who, football is only a reflection of our society and it can translate many. things, including political issues. In this context, one country that will participate in the World Championship is particularly worried, it is Iran.

Ukraine asked for the expulsion of Iran

The existence of Team Melli has already been called into question by its international politics. At the end of October, the head coach of “Shakhtar Donetsk” Sergey Palkin publicly criticized Iran’s military support to Russia during the Ukrainian war. Reminding the possible replacement of Zbirna, the leader asked for Iran’s exclusion from this World Cup: “Ukraine should be in the world championship. Iran does not deserve its place! While Iranian leaders are having fun watching their national team play in the World Cup, Ukrainians will be killed by Iranian drones and Iranian missiles. About 250 such drones have already attacked the peaceful cities of Ukraine.

“Shakhtar calls on FIFA and the entire international community to immediately ban the participation of the Iranian national team in the World Cup due to the country’s direct participation in terrorist acts against Ukrainians. The vacant place should be filled by the Ukrainian national team, which has proved that it is worthy of participation in the World Cup. In the playoffs, they played their hearts out with other national teams on unequal terms. This decision is historically and sportingly justified. I urge everyone to join the pressure on the football bureaucracy. It is enough to repeat the mistakes of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, hiding behind an empty thesis about the apolitical nature of sports. Facilitating terrorists’ participation in the World Cup is a matter of policy. It’s time to put an end to such politics.” he concluded.

Two quick deployments

After strong words came an official request to exclude Iran from the Ukrainian selection. FIFA’s position on this matter has not changed and the exercise led by Carlos Queiroz will be a good adventure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A wait-and-see attitude that has been particularly criticized by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter (age 86), who held the position between 1998 and 2015. is asked by Blikthe latter explained that he would have decided to exclude Iran from this competition after its position in the war in Ukraine. “We have to exclude Iran from the world championship. […] Infantino doesn’t even have the courage to answer journalists.” especially left.

Here again, the position can be fully defended, but it can also be open to criticism. Of course, this political stance of Iran can be criticized, but the current position of Iranian politics in its own land should not be forgotten. A few years ago, Sepp Blatter explained to the Iranian congress that more space should be reserved for women in Iranian society. The situation has not changed and has even recently flared up with rebellions in the country. In the past, the issues were the same, and FIFA, then led by Sepp Blatter, did not take a clear position on this issue. Two quick policies again. Indeed, if Iran’s participation in the World Cup is anything to go by in recent weeks, demonstrations for women’s place in the country and their rights as men embrace the country of Persia.

Ali Daei supported the movements

The often mentioned disparity in rights between men and women in Iran has taken a new turn in the last two months, especially with the death of Mahsa Amini (22), a young woman who was arrested during a peaceful demonstration. he put on his veil and died a few days later. Mahsa Amini has since been martyred and became a symbol of the feminist struggle in Iran, and Iranian society is deeply divided on the issue. Former soccer star Ali Daei saw his passport confiscated after criticizing local authorities for violence against his own people. Taking strong positions, she was invited to accompany the election during the contest, but decided to decline the invitation to support the social demands of the Iranian people, especially women.

“Good morning, my dear and respected compatriots. In these days when many of us are not feeling well, I declined an official invitation from FIFA and the Qatar Football Federation to attend the World Cup with my wife and daughters to be with you in my homeland and to express my condolences. all the families who have lost loved ones. They lost these days, I declare. Hoping for bright days for Iran and Iranians” he explained on his Instagram account. Former internationals such as Javad Nekounam, Ali Karimi and Mehdi Mahdavikia have taken a strong stand in favor of the demands. What about the current generation? He is also very involved in politics.

Sardar Azmun flag of Melli team

In the beginning, we find Bayer Leverkusen striker Sardar Azmoun, who openly criticized the repressions carried out by the government of his country: “The last (punishment) is expulsion from the national team, which is a small price for an Iranian woman’s hair. It will never be erased from our consciousness. I’m not afraid of being fired. Shame on you for killing people so easily, and long live Iranian women.” He also wanted to encourage the women of his country: “I am with you, you are my sisters, I am proud of you. My heart breaks for Mahsa Amini.” The bold stance questioning his challenge was obvious, but in the end, he will travel by choice. In a friendly against Senegal on September 27 (1-1), the qualifiers hid the national team logo during the anthems in support of their nation.

Sardar Azmun, who is the leader of his team with Mehdi Taremi and is very committed to political issues, leads his teammates both at the sports level and in specific activities. His teammate Saman Ghoddos also spoke in the interview Athletic : “No one is happy about it and everyone wants to see change. The change is very simple. What people want is nothing special, just freedom. “I don’t mean to fight for it, because I don’t think violence is the right way, but something needs to change, and it’s been going on for too long.” In a contest where politics seems more important than ever, the speech is shared within the team and may be followed by new tasks.

Actions are expected

At the beginning of the selection, the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz probably did not think of managing the political aspect as well as the field. Iran, which is in Group B with England, USA and Wales, will start the fight against “Three Lions” on Monday. Carlos Queiroz explained at his press conference that he expects his players to take a stand and he understands it: “It’s like in England. As long as you express yourself in football according to these principles and values, you follow the spirit of the game and the laws of FIFA. Everyone has the right to express themselves.”

“Some kneel down, some agree to it, some don’t agree to it. Iran is the same. It is impossible to think that the Iranian national team suffers from such problems. Players may protest according to tournament rules. The 69-year-old Portuguese technician continued. Apart from the opportunity to take Iran to the round of 16 of the World Cup for the first time in its history, Melli’s team will lead other battles. United, Iran’s choice will stand as the banner of a people fighting for their freedom in a deeply divided country.

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