“Severe punishment will be meted out to those who do not follow Islamic rules during sporting competitions.” From AKI (thanks to all who sent this in):
Tehran, 19 Dec. (AKI) – The vice president of the Iranian Olympic Committee, Abdolreza Savar, has announced new rules to fight what he defines as the sport’s “subjugation to western customs and practices.”
In a memorandum sent to all sporting federations, Savar, who is in-charge of the “proper behaviour of male and female athletes” said that “severe punishment will be meted out to those who do not follow Islamic rules during sporting competitions” both local and abroad.
The memorandum also said that “no male coach can train or accompany the athletes when they travel abroad.”
“If female trainers are not found, our female teams will not participate in international competitions,” said Savar.
Iran’s athletes are considered among the best in the Middle East, but due to severe restrictions imposed by the government, women are sometimes excluded from competition and prevented from fully exploiting their potential.
An example of this is the Iranian volleyball team, which has not been able to qualify to any international competition, as it does not have a trainer.
“In volleyball there aren’t any female trainers capable, and the Olympic committee does not allow us to employ males to train the female team,” said Saiid Derakhshandeh, president of the Iranian Voleyball Federation.
Iran’s voleyball team was once considered to be among the best in Asia.