Wrestling in the US: Iran cancels, men’s freestyle event still

Iran has pulled out of the Bout at the Ballpark, but USA Wrestling still plans to compete in men’s freestyle

In a letter to USA Wrestling on Wednesday, the Iran Wrestling Federation indicated that it has decided not to travel to the United States to compete against Team USA during the match at the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on February 12.

The letter from Iran’s wrestling federation president Ali Reza Dabir stated that six members of the proposed 35-member Iran delegation had not been granted visas by the US State Department.

While USA Wrestling, as the national governing body for wrestling in the United States, has no say in visa issuance decisions, it has regularly communicated directly with the Iranian wrestling federation about what to do regarding the US visa process.

Iran was scheduled to compete against the US men’s freestyle team in a 10-bolt dual meet, as well as in a highlighted match against a top US star in Greco-Roman.

USA Wrestling has formally requested that the Iran Wrestling Federation reconsider its decision and send the approved delegation to the United States for the competition. The US and Iran would still be able to host a highly competitive double-match which would benefit both the national teams and provide wrestling fans around the world with an exciting showcase of the sport.

Regardless of Iran’s reaction, USA Wrestling is determined to bring its national men’s freestyle team to Arlington to compete. An alternative plan is currently underway for the men’s freestyle area of ​​the Bout at the Ballpark, if Iran doesn’t change its mind.

“USA Wrestling is extremely disappointed that Iran has decided not to compete against our team at the Bout at the Ballpark. As with the 16 previous times Iran has competed in the United States since 1995, this event was organized for goodwill through sport and as an opportunity for athletes from both countries to compete at the highest level. Iran received almost all of their visas and was able to set up a competitive team to wrestle against our athletes, but it was their decision not to participate. We asked them to reconsider. Our intention is to provide a quality event for our partners at the Bout at the Ballpark and for the fans in Texas, showing our top athletes, perhaps in a different format,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.

Information about changes to the men’s freestyle competition will be published once it is finalized.

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