Do-nothing strategy, the FIVB’s best strategy

July 10, 2019 - 17:22

TEHRAN – The U.S. authorities violated the rules after they detained Iranian volleyball team at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, however the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) chose to do nothing but saying sorry to the Iranians.

After the team was detained by the U.S. authorities, some of the players had to answer "nonsensical questions" one by one brought upon by border control - while the Polish team was able to leave the airport immediately, with a smile on their faces and no formalities.

“This is politics. I don’t know why they did it. Do our athletes have anything else to do but play sports? Their approach is not logical," said the president of Iran's Volleyball Federation.

Iran and the U.S. have a positive and strong relationship built on years of competition. The U.S. athletes have traveled to Iran for many times without any problem but there have always been problems for the Iranians.

Last year, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interrogated the Iranian players for hours at a Chicago airport but FIVB did nothing. The mistreatment has been repeated but FIVB will do nothing again.

The international volleyball federation should enforce measures to avoid the interference of politics in sport.

“On behalf of the FIVB and entire volleyball family, I would like to apologize to Iran volleyball and we are really ashamed of what has happened in Chicago airport…. We were shocked to find out what happened. I can assure you that the world federation will find a way to prevent "such an incident" in the future,” Ary Graça wrote in a letter sent to Iran Volleyball Federation.

According to him, FIVB worked very closely with various stakeholders including the IOC, USOC and USAV to ensure that the Iranian delegation would have a smooth entry procedure.

BUT it seems the world federation cannot prevent interference of politics in sport.

It can be harmful for the Iranian team who look for a medal in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, where they have been drawn in Pool B along with powerhouses Poland and Brazil.

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