Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Losing a Football Game

It is not news to anyone who follows the World Cup, Iran lost to Mexico. After keeping a 1 to 1 score for 75 minutes Iran received two goals in less than 5 minutes. A victory was lost, when almost even the most pessimistic of the fans had become certain of its possibility. The writer is not a big football (soccer) fan; however he does follow the World Cup. That is said, he does not claim to have any professional background to have a reliable opinion. However it is interesting to study the reactions of journalists, media and different websites.

Almost everyone has blamed Ivankovic the coach and Ali Daie the 37 years old captain of Iran’s team. Many have asked why Ivankovic has been so much cautious, many have asked why Ali Daie was not replaced. Fars news agency reported that some of the youth have started praying for his departure. Many journalists have attacked Ivankovic, some have started to attack Iran’s Football Federation. Many have written about the networking within this organization and those who influence the final decisions and arrangements. Some have asked for others to speak out and to inform public of the true state of corruption and networking, which Iranians call “Mafia”, in football league in Iran. Some have gone as far as establishing a club for those who hate MirzaPour, the goal keeper.

But if you think the criticism has been limited to football and tactics, you are wrong. Several articles have drawn parallels between the team and its loss and the state of affairs in Iran: from national economy, government administration of public affairs to cultural identity., and several other independent and opposition websites are full of such WebPages. And they are not alone, Sharifnews a conservative news agency and website in Iran, has cited a Mr. Aliabadi from Vienna. He told Sharifnews: “It is a shame that our football players did not follow national anthem as passionately as their Mexican rivals. All they care about is their financial status and their golden legs. Had we preserved the original values of Islamic Revolution, this could not have happened.”

The writer feels certain about only one conclusion: no matter what happens some in Iran always find a way to justify their own point of view using that. Let us all pray nothing drastic happens in the game against Portugal. Otherwise we shall witness another furious flow of ideas, who all fail to address one simple question: what should be done so Iran can have a first class national team?

** Cartoon is from

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