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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sports is life: Iranian born German soccer player won't play in Israel

A German soccer player who holds Iranian citizenship is refusing to play in the Under-21 European Championship qualifying match set to take place on Friday in Tel Aviv between the German and Israeli national teams. The player, Ashkan Dejagah, has given various excuses, but the bottom line appears to be that he just won't play in Israel.
Dejagah, who plays for the Bundesliga side Vfb Wolfsburg team, provided various versions in an attempt to explain his request to be exempted from the game against Israel. In an interview granted to a local newspaper in Wolfsburg, he said that political considerations stood behind his refusal to play against Israel.

The newspaper also maintained that Dejagah – who was born in Tehran and who still holds Iranian citizenship – said that he also feared for his own safety in Israel. "Everyone knows I am an Iranian-German," he told the newspaper.

On the other hand, the young team's coach Dieter Eilts and the club's management said that Dejagah asked to be relieved for personal rather than political reasons. The striker strengthened this stance Monday when stating: "I ask for understanding of my decision." This is about very personal matters which pertain to my closest family members."


In an official statement issued by the Association it was reported that the Assciation's president Theo Zwanziger, accepted the coach's decision to relieve the Iranian player from the game, after it was clarified that personal motives prompted his decision.

"Yet despite this" Zwanziger was quoted as saying in an official announcement that, "The principle stance held my myself and the Association is clear: We shall not allow a player on the national team to refuse to play in a game due to political reasons.

"Sports and football have always built bridges in the past. This holds true in everything pertaining to Israel and the relationship between Germany and Israel."
It sounds like there is some fear for Dejagah's family back in Iran. Or maybe not.

Der Spiegel reports that Dejagah does have family in Iran. A Wikipedia entry mentions a brother who plays soccer for Paykan Tehran, and also mentions another German player, ex-Bayern Munich striker Vahid Hashemian, who became "injured" in both UEFA Champions League matches against Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv to 'avoid legal trouble.' And Der Spiegel quotes Dejagah as having told a German language paper that he fears not being allowed to visit relatives in Iran if he has an Israeli stamp in his passport. "I have nothing against Israel. But I'm worried about having problems later when traveling to Iran," he told the BZ. That fear seems groundless. While Iranian Jews cannot go to Israel, Israelis Jews of Iranian extraction are allowed to visit Iran.

In 2006, the coach of the Iranian national team wanted to try Dejagah out for the country's junior World Cup team. He was even the subject of a petition drive. But there was an 'outcry' and the tryout never took place. Dejagah was born in Tehran in 1986, but has lived in Germany since he was 2.

Here's a line from the Der Spiegel article that I believe captures the real issue, and that ought to give pause to those who regard Dejagah and others like him as Germans: "I have more Iranian than German blood in my veins. Besides, I'm doing this out of respect. After all, my parents are Iranian."

Dejagah has lived in Germany since he was 2. I wonder what he would he would say if Ahmadinejad asked him to plant a dirty nuke in Berlin. Would he do it out of respect for his parents?


At 9:37 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

"In an official statement issued by the Association it was reported that the Assciation's president Theo Zwanziger, accepted the coach's decision to relieve the Iranian player from the game"

That's one more minute victory for the Islamofascists in their creeping fascist Islamification of Europe.

Are there ANY Europeans with any moral fiber anymore to resist this?

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Mr. Doctor said...

Yeah, it must be because of Islamofascists and his personal hatred of Israel, not because he might actually, you know, want to continue his life and dual citizenships without any snags. Those straws you're clutching at look awfully thin.


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