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After ‘Death to America’ Chant, Iranian Athletes Want to Cancel Wrestling Match

An organization of world-class Iranian athletes is urging USA Wrestling to cancel a February match with Iran’s squad after “Death to America” chants.
After 'Death to America' chant, Iranian athletes want to cancel wrestling match
A portrait of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari during a demonstration on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, Sept. 13, 2020. (photo credit: EVERT ELZINGA/ANP/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The Jerusalem Post

An organization of Olympic and world-class Iranian athletes urged USA Wrestling to pull the plug on its slated February wrestling dual meet with the Islamic Republic's squad after Tehran's wrestling federation called for the violent death of America. 

The move, made on Sunday, also follows Iran's ban on female wrestling. One of the members of the organization is including the former head coach of Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team. 

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the letter sent by the Iranian athletic and human rights organization United for Navid to the executive director of USA Wrestling, Rich Bender.

“USA Wrestling is inviting an organization [Iran’s Wrestling Federation] whose leadership rejoices in chanting ‘Death to America’ in front of TV cameras and encourages others to do the same, if not more," wrote the former head of Iran's Greco-Roman wrestling team, Sardar Pashaei and manager of the Iranian athletic NGO United for Navid.

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