A video has emerged of an Iranian teen wrestler, named Peyman, bursting into tears after being told by his coach that he will have to forfeit the match to avoid competing against an Israeli athlete.
The politics of sport in IranIran doesn’t recognise Israel as a state. So by common practice, Iran does not compete against Israel.
Iranian wrestler Peyman is devastated when he’s told he might have to forfeit his next match: http://bit.ly/1j7zZd3
Posted by Witness – Al Jazeera on Saturday, August 27, 2016
The coach says to him, “the problem is if you wrestle against Israel your name will be crossed out from the team forever.”
The coach then explains that he is putting ice on the boys hand so they can say they are forfeiting due to a medical injury.
With tears streaming down his face Peyman pleads to his coach, “Let me go on the Mat! I’ll beat him if you let me!”
The video has been viewed over a million times and the top comment says, “Caught red handed. Kids aren’t born racist, they’re taught it. Sad that this kid can’t just be a normal kid without being indoctrinated in to an antisemitic system. Iran should be banned from future Olympics for violating the spirit of the games.”
Israel and Israeli athletes are often marginalised, particularly by Middle Eastern countries. During the Olympics there were a number of incidents including a forfeit to avoid and Israeli Judoka and another when an Egyptian judoka refused to shake the hand of Israeli judoka Or Sasson after the Israeli won the match.