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The United States unleashed a scandal in world sports: they prohibited the entry of Iranian volleyball players

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 14:32:52

The third week of the Men’s Volleyball Nations League began with a scandal. Some players from Iran’s main team have yet to receive visas; their participation in the preliminary stage matches in the USA, which began today, is in doubt. The reason is the military past of the national team players. The World Volleyball Federation (FIVB) decided to freeze the team’s qualification, although it could have avoided a conflict entirely.

Why did they refuse?

Due to acclimatization and jet lag, the Iranian team flew to the US early. But not at full strength. Two players and the head coach had visa problems. In April 2023, the entire team, together with the staff, went to Ankara, to the American embassy, ​​to process them. Even then it became clear that point guard Taher Vadi, winger Amin Esmailnejad and libero Arman Salehi would not receive the documents. “We came to the conclusion that the reason for this could be playing in the army club during military service. Hence the refusal,” said Iranian physical trainer Wojciech Janas.

Iran national team

Photo: volleyballworld.com

By Monday, only two remained without visas: the team’s attacking leader Amin and Salehi’s main defender. In addition to the players, head coach Behruz Atai, who also played in the army club, also has trouble entering the United States. From Frankfurt, where the team was based and trained, the national team staff did not fly to the mainland on Sunday either: now the FIVB and the tournament organizers have to directly search for a doctor, physiotherapist and masseur for Iran. in the US “15, 20 years ago they played in a military club,” Janas commented on their non-participation. This means that, according to the law, they were at the disposal of the team. And at one point they were even banned from playing abroad if they didn’t serve in the military.

A similar situation could already be expected at the equipment distribution stage: geopolitical relations between Iran and the United States are very tense. In other words, the FIVB decision raised questions from the outset, since in parallel to the Americas group, eight other teams are already playing in the Philippines: Brazil, Italy, Japan, China, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. .

Impact of the decision and FIVB qualification

The country’s volleyball federation issued its official protest against the FIVB. The Iranians even threatened to boycott, refusing to participate in the League of Nations altogether, thereby undermining the authority of the trade tournament. But Iran Volleyball Federation president Mohammad Davarzani has ruled out Iran’s withdrawal from this year’s draw: the country could face “serious consequences” on the world stage in the future.

New FIVB rules:

“We are not machines”. World volleyball bosses criticized for historic reform

So they managed to dissuade them in opposite terms: the matches in Anaheim will not count for the world ranking, they will be frozen. Since from 2021 the result of each match sponsored by the FIVB affects the points and, consequently, the qualification. On this basis some places will be distributed for the Olympic Games. Iran will retain 241 points and provisional 11th place. But, like the Russian team, whose points have been frozen for two years, the Iranians can go up or down depending on the results of their rivals in the table.

“If I were among the FIVB leaders, I would have identified us in the Philippines and not in the United States. The president of the national federation intervened in the disciplinary bodies – they promised to help. This is what the regulation says: each participant should be able to enter the country where the games are held without any problems. However, it was not possible to figure this out, – Janas admits. – The case is stuck. As far as we know, last week the FIVB discussed and voted so that we can decide if the results of our matches in the US will be taken into account in the classification or the points will be “frozen”.

Who will replace them?

Wojciech Janas hopes that at least 12 volleyball players from Iran with valid visas will come to the US tournament. “This is the bare minimum. We have a big problem with the central players, because no one else has the relevant documents, so we risk playing this week with two volleyball players in this position.

The final tournament will take place in Gdansk, Poland, from July 19-23. There, in addition to Poland -the host country- there will be seven more teams. At the moment, these are Japan, the United States, Brazil, Slovenia, Italy, Argentina and the Netherlands.

Russia temporarily removed from the ranking:

“The Russian advance is incomprehensible.” The Poles want to drop the Russian team in the world ranking

The Iranians still do not get along with the League of Nations – they have won only two games out of eight and scored eight points – six points already separate them from the final top 8, but how will the national team manage without the main one? scorer (96 attacks, 8 blocks and 14 kicks), unclear. Ahead of Iran are the matches with France (July 4), with Bulgaria (July 7). On July 9 they will meet with Argentina, on the 10th with Cuba.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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