By Farrokh Hesabi

Former volleyball player Mahmoudi reacts to VNL’s results

June 26, 2021 - 18:30

TEHRAN - Behnam Mahmoudi, the former Iranian volleyball player, believes that “under no circumstances” should Iran be ranked 12th in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL).

Iran volleyball team suffered 10 defeats at the 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL). It was a disappointing end for a team with so much promise, finishing 12th out of 16 teams.

Mahmoudi, who played more than eight years in the Iran national volleyball team, says that the performance of Vladimir Alekno’s side was weaker than expected.

“It was not what we expected from our team. But, of course, the strategy of the Iran Volleyball Federation was not to get results in the tournament, and it was more important to create coordination and mutual understanding between the players,” Mahmoudi told Tehran Times.

“Some talented young players were added to the national team and performed well. However, our final place in the table is not a good at all, and if we do not consider the clear weaknesses of our team, we will have serious problems in the Olympic Games.

“Alekno didn’t’ know the players well, and he aimed to test the potential ability of the players. But, given Mr. Alekno’s honors and experiences, it was expected that the national team would have performed better and achieved better results in this tournament.” he added.

Iran lost to Japan, Russia, Serbia, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Slovenia, France, Poland, and Argentina and defeated the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Bulgaria, and the U.S. in the competition.

“If we recover mentally and forget about these weak games, I am sure that the players can again find their best form before the Olympics and get good results to make Iranian fans happy," said Mahmoudi, who was the first Iranian volleyball player to ever play professionally outside of his country.

“Vladimir Alekno must be aware that Iranian people are loyal and passionate volleyball fans, and they love the national team. So, under no circumstances should Iran be ranked 12th in the VNL. Certainly, all teams will be stronger and more competitive in the Olympics, and we have a difficult job ahead.

“I believe that the technical and mental problems of the national team in the 2021 VNL must be examined by a technical committee consisting of volleyball experts, and the necessary solutions to solve these problems must be provided as soon as possible,” he concluded.

Iran have been drawn along with giants Poland and Italy and hosts Japan as well as Canada and Venezuela in Pool A of the 2020 Olympic Games.

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