Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Iranian-Born German Soccer Star Boycotts Game With Israel

Iranian-born German soccer player Ashkan Dejagah, who plays for Bundesliga club VfB Wolfsburg, said he wouldn't play in Germany's European Championship qualifier against Israel, to be played in Tel Aviv on Friday, citing "personal reasons."

Dejagah was quoted in the German tabloid daily Bild as saying his motive was `cultural'.

"I have more Iranian than German blood in my veins," he said in a story published today. "That should be respected, and besides I'm doing this out of respect. My parents are Iranian."

And probably some relatives are still living in Iran as well, if you take my meaning.

Dejagah was born in Tehran, but later moved with his parents to Germany.

This is reminiscent of the Iranian wrestler who forfeited a match in the last Olympics rather than actually come into physical contact with an Israeli, Allah forbid...

Iranians have not been allowed to travel or have contact with Israel or Israelis since Khomeni's 1979 Islamic Revolution, which was also when Iran stopped recognizing Israel's right to exist.

To their credit, the Germans are treating this with the contempt it deserves, for the most part. Bild apparently called for Dejagah's exclusion from the national team, a call which was backed by Friedbert Pflüger, a leading member of the Berlin branch of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).

And DFB President Theo Zwanziger also made his position clear in no uncertain terms:

"..We will not accept that a German national player refuses to play in an international match for reasons associated with his views on world politics."

Sehr gut und richtig, Ich sage!


Rosey said...

P.S. nice new look!

Anonymous said...

If he has so much iranian blood in his veins, then let him and his iranian parents depart germany and europe and return to the iranian homeland.

ThirstyJon said...

Personally, I can see his dilemna. However, he is playing for the GERMAN team and needs to decide with whom to identify. If I were his coach, etc., I would tell him "either you play for Germany against the Israeli team, or you don't play for us anymore."

I am open to being persuaded otherwise. I don't hate him. I am not even angry. But the GERMAN team is the GERMAN team.

Ya know?


Anonymous said...

I have more iranian blood in me than german eh?? Well go play for iran and get out of Germany. This is the problem facing Europe and other immigrant destinations in the world. Lack of integration by those relating more to their homeland than their adopted country. I say ban him from representing Deutschland for good.