Award-winning goalkeeper, sophisticated preparation and controlled freedom, we tell you Iran’s first history

Besides women’s handball and its extended World Championship preliminaries, what other sport can bring so much emotion to us? Pretty much all of that, let’s be honest. But, because there’s always a “but”, we still had a great sporting moment, as Gégé Holtz said, after Sunday night’s Iran-Norway game. Well, not because the Persians can’t beat the Olympic double, no. No game: 22-3 at halftime, 41-9 at the end of the game. It’s pickles, Jack.

If the hairs on our little arms stand up, especially when we see Iranian goalkeeper Fatame Khalili Befar who takes the trophy at the end of the game. The 25-year-old already made 18 saves in his first game against Romania in a 39-11 loss, but kept getting shot against the Norwegian, where he made some big moves save.

general mood

A total of 86 shots (29% saves) in the two games. Therefore, it should receive a small reward for its service to the country. Fatemeh Khalili Behfar burst into tears as he accepted the award. It even cried among Norwegians, who asked for a group photo.

I’m so happy for her, let’s meet Ali İhsan Tekin, her coach in Turkey. She is a respectful, calm and responsible woman. She works a lot. Even if she makes 180 shots in a game, it is not a problem, because she is a person who loves her work and loves her work. »

That’s a big difference for a country playing in the World Cup for the first time. Also for the first time, the Iranian women’s national team has participated in the World Championships, whether among seniors, hopefuls or teenagers. So, we won’t lie to you, Iran didn’t become the world’s handball country in a few years, but the country made a small place for itself by taking advantage of the open competition for 32 teams. , thanks to a fourth place in the Asian Games.

“Historic Event”

If the likes of beIN Sports’ Alexandra Lacrabère at the age of 32 are outspoken against the World Cup – “it’s not very good publicity for handball” – others, such as the Norwegian coach, support it, especially stressing Iran: “I was looking forward to the match, Thorir Hergeirsson explained to Norwegian website evening post. This is great for Muslim women. This is a historic event. »

History, in fact, is a developmental choice for most players in the country. Only three, including the now-legendary Fatme Khalili Befar, have played abroad in Turkey, all at the same club: Antalya Anadolu Sport Kurub. “We offered us the first Iranian player and I liked the way she played. So, I asked other teammates if they were interested and we recruited them at the same time,” Ali İhsan Tekin said.

No domestic media coverage

We can already imagine what will happen next. Recruited by Brest, Fattime Khalili Befar won the Champions League, Iran never stopped growing and won the 2024 Olympics in Paris in front of stunned French women. Well, maybe we’re going a little faster. “In Iran, handball is replaced by football, wrestling, volleyball and basketball. Especially as a women’s sport, it is very limited. There, for the World Cup, they have no preparation, no training ground, no friendly matches,” the London-based Reza Mohaddes, a reporter for the independent channel Iran International, explained that the channel is covering the World Cup in Spain.

Moreover, at the media level, it is difficult to mobilize the masses because everything is controlled by government channels. “National television doesn’t show games or even cover women’s sporting events,” Mohaddes continued.In Iran we are just entitled to rare pictures of Iranian players [les joueuses adverses sont censurées car non couvertes]. The only way to see images of this world championship is on social networks, using a proxy, otherwise it will be blocked. »

There is security surveillance

The Islamic Republic also prohibits players from replying directly to our reporters [qui ne peut pas rentrer dans son pays], because he works in the opposition chain considered by the regime. The handball players are also supervised and supervised by a security officer from the Sports Ministry in conjunction with General Intelligence.

“It was done to control them, to ban them from talking to certain foreign media, to ban them from going out, gathering,” Mohaddes continued.Once an athlete or female athlete leaves Iran to compete, he is obliged to leave a very high deposit to force him to return to the country and avoid a situation like that of judo player Said Molay [médaillé d’argent à Tokyo sous les couleurs mongoles]. At the World Cup, handball players are in a kind of bubble. Spanish health authorities must appreciate. There are a little less defenders of women’s causes.

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