The United States wrestling team will not be allowed to compete in the 2017 Wrestling World Cup due to Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
The reason why is that the 2017 Wrestling World Cup is being hosted by Kermanshah, Iran. In retaliation to Trump’s executive order banning Iranian citizens (among those from six other nations) from entering the United States, Iran is blocking the United States team from coming into the country.
This means that the United States’ wrestling team will not be able to compete in the event that is scheduled for Feb. 16 and 17 in Kermanshah, as first reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency.
“[Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram] Qasemi reiterated that the case of the U.S. wrestling team’s presence in the event in Iran had been referred to a special committee, which opposed to presence of the team after necessary studies.”
It’s an unfortunate circumstance for the United States wrestling team, as it keeps them from competing in one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments in the world.
“We’re in talks about it right at the moment,” said Christina Kelley, the chief international ambassador for U.S.A. Wrestling, to the New York Times. “We’re pretty devastated.”
“If these reports are true, U.S.A. Wrestling is extremely disappointed about this, which we believe would be an unacceptable situation. Wrestling is about competition and good will through sport, and is no place for politics,” wrote U.S.A Wrestling in a statement.
The retaliatory stance taken by Iran against Trump’s executive order clearly frustrates the United States team. Wrestling being “no place for politics” is not necessarily wrong, but this goes far beyond sport and simply “politics” and is a social and moral issue above all. It’s certainly unfortunate that the members of the wrestling team find themselves caught in the middle of this issue, and hopefully it can be resolved before the event begins.
(h/t SB Nation)