Iran withdraws from hockey championship over "Israel's" participation
Refusing to recognize "Israel", the Iranian hockey national women's team boycotts the world championship so as not to face the Israeli occupation team.
Iran's women's national hockey team canceled its participation in the Ice Hockey World Women's Championship held in Serbia to avoid facing the Israeli occupation team, "Israel" Hayom news website reported.
The championship is set to take place on March 22 in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, where the Iranian team was supposed to face Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and "Israel".
Levav Weinberg, chairman of the "Israel" Hockey Association, called for putting politics aside; a pretext the Israelis frequently use in their attempt to whitewash the image of the "genocidal and illegitimate regime" in different arenas.
Sayyed Khamenei stresses on sports boycott
It is noteworthy that when Iranian Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei met medalists who participated at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, he hailed the bravery of the Iranian athletes refusing to recognize “Israel” by not facing its representatives despite the looming consequences, describing the situation as "a very important issue."
"The ruthless, genocidal, and illegitimate regime is trying to gain legitimacy by participating in international sports arenas, and the world of arrogance is helping it, but honorable sports officials and athletes should not be passive in this regard at all," the Iranian leader stressed.
Furthermore, Khamenei denounced the Israeli regime's retaliatory measures, which included pushing for the suspension or banning of athletes who refused to play against an Israeli player.
"The ministries of sports and foreign affairs and legal bodies should pursue this issue through legal channels and support our athletes and even the Muslim athletes of other countries, such as the Algerian athlete who was recently banned," he added.
Sayyed Khamanei made explicit that “a proud Iranian athlete cannot shake hands with a representative of a criminal regime for a medal, thus practically recognizing it," highlighting that "this issue has a precedent."
“In the past, athletes from other countries refused to compete with the representatives of the apartheid regime in South Africa, and after a while, that regime collapsed, as will the Zionist regime," the Iranian leader concluded.