Saturday, July 3, 2010

Iran & The World Cup

Disclaimer: I am no soccer expert; and I hardly know Iran's current national team. I watch the world cup every four years. I do not care about any specific team, but in general I like people with southern looks and attitudes: they dance the ball!

This post is just to say, to the readers of this blog, who I suspect are mostly North American, and thus only recently become interested in soccer, that Iran HAS in the past qualified to play in the World Cup (and some may recall that Iran beat USA (2-1) in 1998 in France; a game preceded by exchange of gifts and courtesy, the first world-encounter during Khatami's presidency and the missed opportunity of the "dialogue of civilizations".)

Until Ahmadinejad took over, Iran was a rising star in Asian football. Taking a page from Goebbel's book, Ahmadinejad tried hard to ride the populist waves of football waters in Iran (that were stirred high during the reform era. However, as everything that he puts his finger on, this went rotten as well! Iran didn't qualify for the WC this year because of Ahmadinejadism.

In addition to characteristic incompetence of the Ahmadinejad-picked national team managers; many Iranian players chose to stand with the people in the aftermath of the bloody election. (Wikipedia: During the final game of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against the South Korean national football team held in Seoul on June 17, 2009, seven members of the team, Javad Nekounam, Ali Karimi (The Asian Maradona), Mehdi Mahdavikia, Hosein Kaebi, Masoud Shojaei, Mohammad Nosrati, and Vahid Hashemian, wore green wristbands in support of the opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 Iranian election protests.)

Some of these players (home stars and players for Bayern Munich, Leicester City, Bochum and Eintracht Frankfurt) were forced to retire and banned for life. Of course, Iranian footbal federation denied the reports of disciplinary action related to green symbolism.

Some of these soccer stars didn't go out without a bang. Ali Karimi (the Bayeren Municher, also called the "Asian Maradona" and eyed by LA's Galaxy) spoke to Ahmadinejad's False-News agency and openly criticized Iran's football federation by calling it "the weakest in his ten-year presence in the national team [that] would bring Iran's football backwards rather than forward."

What are my sentiments about Iran's participation in the WC?

Personally, I am happy Iran is not playing. Countries like Iran do need things like a national team to inspire a bit of pride and unity in a people that is slapped around by internal and external criminals (read Khamenei and the USA). However, under a Fascist government, a national-team triumph will only feed the monster (of Ahmadinejadism) and its defeat will break the country's spirits further. Also, being part of the world cup distracts the nation from the goal they need to focus on right now: scoring against militarism and fascism.

For now, I enjoy the display of human triumph, speed, power, reflex, strength and stamina on the field. These players become "stars" because they inspire faith in the capabilities of human being and the marvels of team-play.

Here, a video of the Asian Maradona: Ali Karimi!


littleindian said...

A team called Sepahan Isfahan; that went to Calcutta to play in the State Shield and ran rings around the local teams.

That was many years ago.

Beach Bum said...

I am a real softy when it comes to international competitions, especially the Olympics. The summer Olympics are my favorite and I have been known to stay up all night watching some of the more obscure sports like sailing and rowing. With all the people purposefully causing trouble in the world it feels good to see healthy interaction between people who normally have some animosity between them.

Been trying to catch some of the World Cup but the kid's summer activities and working nights is makes it difficult right now.

Anonymous said...

Your Baluch heroes just murdered 27 people and injured 200.

What are your comments and reactions?

Naj said...

Littleindian, sepahan is one of the local clubs I think they are good?

Beachbum: it is a good competition but the kind of emotions it inspires are interesting. I was in Italy last time and holland this time. The folly :)

anonymous : the Baluchi murderers and the IRI killers are of the SAME fabric.

Anonymous said...

the Baluchi murderers and the IRI killers are of the SAME fabric.

Wounder if sulman Qumi and Qudes Forces in Iraq from same fabric isn't?

Anonymous said...