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Sports

Iranian Wrestling Federation's Women's Camp Raises Questions

June 25, 2024
Payam Younesipour
2 min read
Traditionally, multiple wrestlers are invited for each weight class to ensure proper training
Traditionally, multiple wrestlers are invited for each weight class to ensure proper training
Dabir aims to both secure additional funding and attract attention from the World Wrestling Federation
Dabir aims to both secure additional funding and attract attention from the World Wrestling Federation

Alireza Dabir, the federation's president, has organized a women's wrestling training camp. However, the structure of the camp raises questions about the federation's motives, sources within the Iranian Wrestling Federation revealed to IranWire.

Dabir aims to both secure additional funding and attract attention from the World Wrestling Federation.

According to an insider at the federation, the camp's structure deviates significantly from standard practices. 

Traditionally, multiple wrestlers are invited for each weight class to ensure proper training.

However, this camp has invited only one female wrestler per weight class, forcing participants to practice with opponents from higher or lower weight categories due to the lack of suitable training partners.

Iranian media, citing the wrestling federation's public relations department, announced the preparation camp for Iran's national women's wrestling team.

IranWire's source highlighted concerns about the selection criteria for coaches, suggesting that "non-technical criteria" were prioritized in some appointments. 

According to the source, the selection process is not based on a coach's "number of champion students" but on criteria determined by the head of the wrestling federation. 

These criteria are not unique to wrestling, similar policies are seen in other sports federations, such as football.

In wrestling, unlike team sports such as football and volleyball, the primary criterion for choosing the head coach of the national teams is the number of athletes the coaches discovered or brought to the championship level.

The Islamic Republic does not permit Iranian women to work professionally in wrestling. 

However, to avoid the suspension of the sport, the wrestling federation has initiated Alysh wrestling for women. 

This discipline is similar to judo, allowing women to compete while wearing a mandatory Islamic hijab.

According to International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations, all sports federations worldwide must permit women to work professionally in their respective fields.

Consequently, Iran's boxing, wrestling, and weightlifting disciplines were compelled to issue limited licenses for women's activities to prevent suspension.

The Iranian Wrestling Federation organizes short-term camps for some female wrestlers to demonstrate the extent of its activities to international bodies. 

The primary objective of these camps is to publish news about the girls' camps, collect their photos, and send them to international institutions.

Alireza Dabir aims to use the current Iranian wrestling girls' camp to meet these goals.

The IranWire source pointed out that having a girl in the 60 kg category train with girls in the 65 or 70 kg category is not only technically ineffective but also increases the risk of injury. 

The source argued that the federation views the girls in this camp merely as tools to achieve its objectives.

The issue of budget allocation was also underlined. The wrestling federation has previously requested large budgets from the Ministry of Sports, the Olympic Committee, and even Tehran Municipality by inflating actual costs.

The source stated that these camps, which are not scheduled around international competitions, lack technical justification. 

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