Status: 01/13/2023 8:13 pm
Iran’s handball players have already exceeded expectations of the sport on the World Cup – however they’re nonetheless underneath quite a bit of pressure. But it’s not (solely) as a result of of the sport.
Norouzinzad on Iran’s opening win over Chile
1/13/2023 8:15 pm
When the ultimate siren sounds within the area in Krakow, it breaks the virtually ghostly silence. This is adopted by cheers from the purple-clad players on the sphere. The area in Krakow holds 15,000 individuals and only some hundred individuals skilled the joy of the sport, with most of the seats empty.
“It’s insanity and an enormous reduction. It’s solely our second World Cup. We had been underneath quite a bit of pressure,” says Pouya Norouzinezad on the sports activities present’s microphone.
In a really thrilling ultimate, his Iranian nationwide workforce gained their first World Cup sport in opposition to favorites Chile, 25:24. The cheering is big on the pitch, however non-existent within the stands. Two Iranian flags might be seen within the stands, in any other case a number of hundred impartial or Chilean followers.
Iranian handball underneath the radar
At the World Cup in Qatar, the Iranian nationwide workforce was nonetheless within the middle 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 workforce refused to sing the nationwide anthem on the first sport as an indication of protest in opposition to 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 prospect of the principle spherical is all of a 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 informed Sportschau that in Iran, athletes’ funds are frozen after they go overseas for competitions. Sources say that passports of some will even be confiscated throughout the event. It just isn’t confirmed that that is the case with handball players.
The players are being continuously monitored. According to the knowledge of the sports activities present, there are two spectators with the Iranian workforce. They should be sure that the players comply with 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 within the Kraków area 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, informed 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 workforce 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 just isn’t as common there as it’s in Europe. It was all the time a dream of mine to play within the Bundesliga,” says Norouzinezad. The 28-yr-outdated 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 at the moment are actually on the handball world map, within the preliminary spherical they’re nonetheless in opposition to Spain, in the principle spherical doubtlessly in opposition to France or the hosts Poland. It is sort of potential that this can improve the main target of the workforce – and with it the pressure? “I’m attempting 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.”