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Iran honors athletes who refused to face Israeli opponents

Iran has honored 18 Iranian and foreign athletes who had refrained from facing Israeli opponents in support of the oppressed Palestinian people.

During a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday, 13 Iranian and five foreign athletes from Lebanon and Syria received symbolic medals from officials of the Ministry of Sports and Youth for supporting the Palestinian cause.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Sina Kalhor said athletes’ decision not to face Israeli opponents is a collective action that involves the athletes, coaches, managers, and even the media.

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He added that all should support an athlete who had tried for many years to earn an international medal but refrained from facing an Israeli opponent.

Back in October, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iranian athletes who have refused to face Israeli opponents at the expense of not getting a medal are the real victors.

The Leader said although success in sports is very important and is unlike other victories, the Iranian athletes who chose to boycott Israeli opponents at the expense of not getting a medal are actually victorious.

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