Iran executed champion wrestler Navid Afkari on Saturday, despite global unions protesting. United States President Donald Trump had also requested the Iranian government to spare the wrestler’s life.
International organizations are now requesting sports federations to ban Iran from participating in global events.
World Players Association (WPA), a union of professional players, requesting the ban on Iran. The executive director of WPA Brendan Schwab said “the execution’ must result in Iran forfeiting its right to be a part of sport’s universal community”.
German organization Athleten Deutschland has urged the Olympics to ban Iran from participating. It has requested the Olympics to let athletes from Iran participate under a neutral flag.
Maximilian Klein a representative of the state-funded organization said “The International Olympic Committee [IOC] and the International Sports Federations must exclude the Iranian regime from the international sports system with immediate effect.”
Another athletes representative organization Global Athlete urged the IOC and UWW to sanction a ban on Iran.
International Unions in solidarity with Navid Afkari
The United World Wrestling, apex body that governs international wrestling, release a statement after Iran executed Navid Afkari. UWW stated in the matter,” It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind the scene work of United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, the IOC together with the NOC of Iran did not achieve our goal. Our thoughts are with the family and the friends of Navid Afkari.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had also released a similar statement.
“In letters, Thomas Bach, the IOC President, had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari, while respecting the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran,”
“It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind-the-scenes work of the IOC, together with the NOC of Iran, United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, did not achieve our goal” the statement said.
Whether the UWW and IOC will decide to ban Iran is still not clear. However international organisations have roped in their support for Greco-roman champion wrestler Navid Afkari.