Iran’s Abbasi snubs Israeli opponent at Agalarov Cup Youth Boxing Tournament
Junior Iranian boxer Mobin Abbasi has refused to take on his Israeli opponent at the 2017 edition of the Agalarov Cup Youth Boxing Tournament in Azerbaijan.
On Friday, Abbasi did not show up for a scheduled encounter against a representative from Israel in the first round of men’s 52-kilogram weight class, and was subsequently excluded from the rest of the tournament.
The Islamic Republic of Iran refuses to recognize the Tel Aviv regime and has long refused to engage in sports competitions against Israel.
The 2017 edition of the Agalarov Cup Youth Boxing Tournament kicked off in Baku, Azerbaijan, on December 20, and will wrap up on December 25.
Iranian freestyle wrestler Alireza Karimi Machiani was beating Russian Alikhan Zhabrailov in a match on November 26 and was leading 3-2, but he purposefully threw his bout to avoid competing against Israel’s Uri Kalashnikov as his second-round opponent.
In a ceremony on November 29, the Islamic Republic of Iran Wrestling Federation praised Karimi for his sacrifice.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 4 claimed in a video that Iran had forced Karimi to lose, saying that the country “would rather see its athletes lose than compete against Israelis.”
Answering to Netanyahu’s ravings, Karimi said he did not know Netanyahu, adding that he was a soldier for his country and took pride in being an Iranian.
On December 10, Leader of the Islamic Ummah and Oppresed People Seyyed Imam Ali Khamenei praised Karimi’s “sacrifice and sportsmanship” during the U23 World Championships in Poland.
The Supreme Leader advised the wrestler to “expect his spiritual reward from God.”
“Of course, [Iranian] officials should spare no effort in terms of praise and material reward,” Leader of the Islamic Ummah stated.
“I truly felt proud that you showed that one of our youths is ready to trample upon his ego for a great and lofty goal and forgo his definitive right and certain championship,” the Supreme Leader added.