Handball World Cup 2023: Handball players of Iran – little consideration, much pressure

Status: 01/13/2023 8:38 pm

Iran’s handball players have already exceeded expectations of the sport on the World Cup – however they’re nonetheless underneath so much of pressure. But it isn’t (solely) as a result of of the sport.

by Mike Elgar and Robin Tillenberg (Krakow)

When the ultimate siren sounds within the enviornment in Krakow, it breaks the virtually ghostly silence. This is adopted by cheers from the crimson-clad players on the sector. The enviornment in Krakow holds 15,000 folks and only some hundred folks skilled the thrill of the sport, with most of the seats empty.

“It’s superb and an enormous reduction. It’s solely our second World Cup. We had been underneath so much of pressure.”, says Pouya Norouzinejad on the Sportschau microphone. In a extremely thrilling closing, his Iranian nationwide crew gained 25:24 towards favorites Chile of their World Cup opening recreation. The cheering is large on the pitch, however non-existent within the stands. Two Iranian flags may very well be seen within the stands together with a couple of hundred impartial or Chilean followers.

Iranian handball underneath the radar

At the World Cup in Qatar, the Iranian nationwide crew was nonetheless within the heart of consideration, primarily as a result of tense political scenario within the nation. Demonstrations had been held for the “Women, Life, Freedom” motion, and the crew refused to sing the nationwide anthem on the first recreation as an indication of protest towards the regime.

Media curiosity in handball players on the World Cup in Poland and Sweden is out of all proportion. For the second time within the affiliation’s historical past, Iran is represented within the Handball World Championship, for the primary time a victory within the group stage was profitable, the possibility of the primary spherical is all of the sudden nice – and hardly anybody talks about it or notices. it.

underneath strict supervision

Still, the players are underneath pressure. Not solely athletic. Various sources instructed Sportschau that in Iran, when athletes journey overseas to compete, their funds are frozen. Sources say that passports of some can even be confiscated throughout the event. It will not be confirmed whether or not that is the case with handball players as properly.

The players are being continuously monitored. According to the knowledge of the sports activities present, there are two spectators with the Iranian crew. They should be sure that the players observe strict guidelines, don’t drink alcohol, don’t secretly discuss to the press or present solidarity with the protest motion.

Eintracht Hagens Norouzinezhad doesn’t sing alongside

When the Iranian anthem performs on the Krakow subject earlier than the sport, the players stand collectively. Pouya Norouzinezad is the one participant who doesn’t sing together with the nationwide anthem. It would not matter, the playwright explains after the sport.

A supply, who wished to stay nameless, instructed Sportschau that Norouzinzad was the one participant who may afford to take action, and wouldn’t face the identical penalties as a participant taking part in at dwelling. Pouya Norouzinzad is the one participant within the Iran crew who doesn’t play and lives in Iran. He is underneath contract with German second division membership VfL Eintracht Hagen and beforehand performed for FA Göppingen, VfL Gummersbach and Bergisch HC. With his athletic class and his expertise, he pulls the strings on the pitch.

“I began taking part in handball in Iran. The sport will not be as common there as it’s in Europe. It was all the time my dream to play within the Bundesliga.”, says Norouzinezad. The 28-yr-previous has lived in Germany since 2017 with stops in Sweden and Switzerland.

More consideration – much more pressure?

The success of the sport was not anticipated, the Iranians are actually actually on the handball world map, within the preliminary spherical they’re nonetheless towards Spain, in the primary spherical doubtlessly towards France or the hosts Poland. It is kind of potential that it will enhance the main target of the crew – and with it the pressure? “I’m making an attempt to focus on the sport. It’s solely our second World Cup, we do not have much expertise. If we combine issues up, we won’t play handball.”


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