Anger in Iran over German football cartoon
13 February 2006
TEHRAN – The general secretary of the Iranian press association called Sunday for action over a football cartoon printed in a German newspaper showing the Iranian national team standing in a World Cup stadium with bomb belts strapped to their jerseys.
Manuchehr Sandi called the cartoon, which was printed in the Friday edition of Berlin’s Tagesspiegel, a “dirty joke” and in an interview with the ISNA news agency demanded the German Embassy in Tehran give an “appropriate reaction” to it.
The cartoon also depicts German soldiers standing in the stadium with a caption saying “Why at the World Cup of all places does the German army have to be on duty?”
The newspaper said it regretted the reactions from Iran.
Earlier Sunday, the Iranian newspaper 90 published the cartoon, calling it “shameless” and demanded the Iranian football federation to lodge an official protest.
“It is now clear that the Germans are under the influence of the Zionists (Israel) and have lowered themselves to become their scarecrows,” wrote 90.
Iran’s most famous sports journalist, Ardeschir Larudi, accused the Tagesspiegel of becoming the first newspaper in Germany to demand Iran’s exclusion from this summer’s World Cup in Germany, which runs June 9 to July 9.
“Iran was the second country (after Japan) to qualify for the World Cup and it is totally unfair to present the players in this way,” he told ISNA.
“We have to protest against this cartoon but we Iranians should remain civilised and not trade insults for insults.”
Subject: German news