Ex-player Mahmoudi hits out at volleyball federation

August 4, 2021 - 18:52

TEHRAN - Behnam Mahmoudi, the Iranian volleyball expert, hit out at the Iranian volleyball federation for the disappointing results in the 2020 Olympic Games.

Iran national volleyball team bade farewell in the group stage, finishing in fifth place in Group A's six-team table and failing to book a place in the quarter-finals. They finished in ninth place in the final standings of the Games.

In an interview with Tehran Times, the former player of the national team opined about the performance of Iran’s volleyball at Tokyo 2020.

“I appreciate the efforts of the players of the team. They tried hard and did their best. However, when you talk about performance, it’s firstly based on the results. Iran national team failed to qualify for the next round while our goal was to be among the top four of the Olympics’ volleyball competition. So, it’s a failure for our volleyball,” said Mahmoudi.

“I heard that Mr. Davarzani, president of Iran’s volleyball federation, has apologized for the results. It’s good but not enough. When we cannot reach our goals and fulfill our promises, it means we have serious problems and weaknesses.

“In my opinion, several factors contributed to this failure. The team and the players did their best, and I thank them for their efforts. The main reason is related to the management problems in the federation. The changes in the management and presidency of the Federation were not in the interest of this sport and caused instability in our volleyball. The Sports Minister, Masoud Soltanifar, did not supervise the performance of the Volleyball Federation, and everything was at the power and based on the desire of Mr. Davarzani.

“Anyone who had a comment about the federation or criticized the federation’s decisions were kept away from volleyball! They did not tolerate any criticism,” added Mahmoudi.

The first Iranian volleyball player to ever play professionally abroad also said: “When Iran suffered 10 defeats at the 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), most of the volleyball experts pointed that it should be analyzed because there were obvious weaknesses in the performance of the team. I offered the federation to examine the team's problems by a technical committee consisting of Iranian volleyball experts. But the federation didn’t pay attention.

“Instead, the team didn’t train for two weeks after the VNL! And nothing was done to solve the problems of the team!” he concluded.

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