Tabriz, South Azerbaijan, May 13
Two members of Iran’s national team have refused to return from the Kabaddi World Cup in Australia and say they are seeking asylum after being threatened with “severe punishment” by the head of Iran’s Kabaddi Federation.
The federation had previously insisted that the two players would soon return.
Kabaddi is a contact team sport which is popular in South Asia. The game is played between two teams of seven players; the object of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a “raider”, to run into the opposing team’s half of a court, tag out as many of their defenders as possible, and return to their own half of the court, all without being tackled by the defenders.
The names of some athletes who have left Iran or have been refugees:
- Mohammad Hussein Ebrahimi – the member of Iranian fencing team became a refugee to France in 2010.
- Vahid Sarlak – Refugees in Germany, with a record of 14 years in the Iran Judo national team.
- Arzu Motamedi, a member of the National Sailing Team, emigrated to the United States in 2010.
- Mehdi Jafaroghlizadeh, a member of the Iranian national karate team, has been refugees in Germany since 2008.
- Ehsan Rajabi, a member of the Iranian Judo team and holder of the Asian Bronze Medal, has become a refugee to the United States in 2010.
- Saman Tahmasebi – winner of two world championship bronze medals and Asian gold medal (for Iran) and two silver and one bronze in the world has emigrated to North Azerbaijan and has played for North Azerbaijan national team since 2010.
- Sabah Shariati – the winner of the silver medal of European wrestling has played for North Azerbaijan national team since 2016.
- Raheleh Asmani – the member of Iran national Taekwondo team, the holder of the Asian medal and 2 golds, one silver and two bronzes of the Taekwondo Open Tournament, has been refugees in Belgium since 2012.
- Milad Beygi the 2016 Olympic quota holder in Taekwondo emigrated to North Azerbaijan and has played for North Azerbaijan national team since 2016.
- Sina Bahrami -the member of Iran national Taekwondo team has played for North Azerbaijan national team since 2014.
- Elshan Moradi – Iranian chess grandmaster emigrated to the United States. most probably will play for the US.
- Iman Jamali – has played for national handball team of Hungary since this year.
- Mina Alizadeh Iranian national rowing boat requested asylum to Germany in 2009.
- Puria Pour Abraham, the national lifeguard rescuer, became a refugee in 2014.
- Mahmoud Zawiyeh, the national lifeguard rescuer, became a refugee in 2014.
- Shervin Pakdellthe Iranian national rowing boat request asylum to Portugal this year.
- Anushirwan Nourian – the only Iranian boxer which has a history of three Olympic Games living in Australia from 2000.
- Saeed Fazlāli Iranian national rowing boat requested asylum to Germany in 2015.
- Payam Zarrinpur the member of Iranian national wrestling team and championship of Asia in 2000 emigrated to the United States. He also competed in the American academy wrestling tournament.