Iranian media praise Dejagah and condemn Central Council of Jews in Germany
10 October 2007, Tehran (dpa) - The Iranian media on Wednesday praised the German-Iranian midfielder Ashkan Dejagah for not playing against Israel and at the same time condemned the Central Council of Jews in Germany which had called on the ruling body DFB to kick him out of the team.
10 October 2007
Tehran (dpa) - The Iranian media on Wednesday praised the German-Iranian midfielder Ashkan Dejagah for not playing against Israel and at the same time condemned the Central Council of Jews in Germany which had called on the ruling body DFB to kick him out of the team.
The sports daily Goal termed Dejagah's decision as "heroic and champion-like" and condemned the demand by the head of the German Central Council of Jews that he be kicked out of the team.
"The Jewish lobby in Germany provoked a political wave against Dejagah's champions-like decision", the paper wrote.
Iranian officials have not yet reacted to the issue.
Dejagah had earlier this year rejected an offer by the Iranian football federation and coach, Amir Qalehnoei, to play for the Iranian national team at the Asian championship in Malaysia and Indonesia but did not rule it out, either.
Iranian athletes used to face Israeli teams during the monarchy era but even at that time the atmosphere was rather delicate and Israeli athletes were booed in the stadiums.
Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iranian teams have been forbidden to attend any sports events against Israeli teams and the relevant sports federations strictly followed the ban without one single exception.
Reports on whether Dejagah's family members or relatives, including his brother who plays in a Tehran club, would be repressed by the Iranian government remain hypothetical as no such case has been reported since the revolution.
Problems only came up after Iranian football players were employed by European clubs and had to play against Israeli teams in the Champions League or UEFA Cup.
Hanover 96 striker Vahid Hashemian once avoided the encounter when he played for Bayern Munich by claiming to be injured.
Eintracht Franfurt midfielder and former Hamburg player Mehdi Mahdavikia would have done the same, especially as he is captain of the Iranian national team.
Subject: German news