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Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Iranian born soccer player plays racist card

[Updated see bottom]
Iranian-born German refuses to play in Israel

Hertha Berlin’s striker Dejagah [sic Ed: he plays for Wolfsburg] says his refusal to play for Germany against Israel has political reasons.

BERLIN - German under-21 international Ashkan Dejagah has said he will not play against Israel in Tel Aviv on October 12 for political reasons, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

Dejagah was born in Tehran and he explained his Iranian roots meant he would not be able to play in Israel.

He said his refusal "had political reasons. Everyone knows I am an Iranian-born German," he said.

The president of the German football federation Theo Zwanziger however criticised Dejagah's stance. "If we start doing things for political reasons, it will be sport itself which loses," Zwanziger said.

The DFB did however agree that he would not play in the qualifying match for the 2009 under-21 European championships.

Mr Bagel: What an appalling gesture. In a sport known as the World's game this poor little man tries to make a statement displaying his ignorance and antisemiticism. The world needs to react to gestures such as this, which are simply unacceptable. Theres no room for racism in World Soccer, and trying to hide it under the guise of political protest isn't going to work.

If you would like to let Wolfsburg know of your feelings for this players actions then send an email to:

Kurt Rippholz
Vfl Wolfsburg
Public Relations

(Head of press/ public relations)

email: fussball@vfl-wolfsburg.de

Sample letter:

Dear Mr Rippholz ,
As a fan of World soccer I must convey to you my disapproval of Wolfsburg's striker Ashkan Dejagah actions in context to the upcoming game against Israel in the under 21 European championship.

Soccer is well known for being the world game, and as a representative of its game I find his actions deplorable.

The simple fact is this isn't about 'politics' its about pure racism.

Wolfsburg's stance in this matter is bound to be under close scrutiny, surely the club is in a position to make a bold, and affirmative statement against racism.

I hope you will convey to management the damage this players stance is doing to your clubs image.

Kind regards

Updated: This article initially carried the information that the player concerned played for Hertha Berlin. It also provided the contact details of a Hertha Berlin’s Public relations officer.
I received a very polite reply from Ms Palewicz that Ashkan Dejagah does not play for
Hertha Berlin, it was informative, courteous and also brought my attention to the progressive nature of the Hertha Berlin club, the club has an active anti racial discrimination policy and must be commended on its approach.

It would seem that Vfl Wolfsburg who is sponsored by Volkswagen isn't so progressive.

Take a look at this article: Ashkan Dejagah still training with the Wolves

Middle East online: Iranian-born German refuses to play in Israel


Anonymous said...

He doesn't play for Berlin, he plays for Wolfsburg so writing to Hertha's Assistant Public Relations Officer is useless.

Mr Bagel said...

Yes, I unfortunately relied on the news article as quoted and referenced to be correct. It is not.

As I found out when the PR officer for Hertha Berlin wrote back to me. It was quite a nice letter actually, I have since corrected the article to reflect the fact he changed teams in what appears to be a recent move.

I have also updated the contact to reflect that he plays for Wolfsburg.

Thanks for the info thou.
Mr Bagel