Bring Back Masoud Shojaei To Iranian National Team, Stop Politicians' Interfere In Sports
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Whereas Masoud Shojaei, the Captain of Iran's Senior Soccer Team, and Ehsan Hajsafi, members of Iran National Team, as professional international players were under contract with Greek Panionios Football Club. They both took part in soccer match their club asked them to play against an Israeli Soccer team Maccabi- Tel Aviv, in the Europe Championship Qualifications. While both players, did not travel to Israeli for the first leg, but were asked to play in the return match played in Greece and they did so as per their abiding contracts on Aug. 3rd, 2017.
Whereas Iran's politicians, immediately condemned the part taking of a players in their club's game. The minister of sports and youth condemned their participation and labelled them as traitors to the values of "Islamic Tenets" on Aug. 4th 2017. The "Organization of Basij of Sports" a politico-religious group condemned their participation of the game and asked the officials to strike them out of the national team. The Iranian Football Federation said: "The federation “strongly condemns” the participation of Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi in a match for Greece’s Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv a day earlier in Greece, it said in a statement reported by the semi-official Fars news agency."
Whereas Mohamad Reza Davarzani, the deputy minister of sports and youth, specifically stated that" Massoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi, would have no place in our national team. In response to a reporter's question to whether the national team's coach will accept to not invite them, he clearly said “this is the decision and stand of our country and it is not within the power of the coach”.
Whereas, Ehsan Hajsafi was obliged in a meeting with the President of a Federation Mehdi Taj to issue a statement and repent his decision and promised to do his best to "uphold the values of the revolution and its great leader" and later in a meeting of Mehdi Taj with the head coach, a green light was issued to invite Hajsafi, and exclude Masoud Shojaei alone,
Whereas, as the FIFA charter states the religious and political issues and ideologies should be kept out of the sports and Masoud Shojaei did not do anything to regret or recant his stand thereof;
We think Masoud Shojaei has been targeted and punished unfairly due to political involvements and the Head Coach of Iran's National Team has been contractually coerced to drop the Captain! We demand the FIFA intervention to undo the unjust and bring back the Fan Favorite Captain of the National Team, Masoud Shojaei to the team, for the relief of the fans and upholding the FIFA principles and values.
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