Afshin Afshar, lastkick.com
The hottest topic in Iranian football during the last two weeks has been former Team Melli midfielder Khodadad Aziziâ€™s brawl with a reporter. Apparently during a Payam of Mashad home game versus Moghavemat of Shiraz, Azizi and a visiting reporter who were watching the match in the VIP booth started beating up on each other. The reporter fell down some stairs and had to be rushed to the hospital, and ended up suing Azizi.
The ever incompetent IFF got involved and as usual a number of inappropriate statements against Azizi were made. Azizi himself made it no easier for himself as he added his own controversial remarks. Then somehow IFFâ€™s Disciplinary Committee got involved and the whole dog and pony show got underway.
Some IFF official suggested that Azizi â€œshould be wiped from the face of Iranian footballâ€! Others started hammering at the guy based on his history of erratic behavior. Azizi put up a show in front of the disciplinary committee begging them to â€œforever banâ€ him from football, and even shed some tears in the process. The beaten reporter contributed his part to the show by doing interviews with anyone who was willing to listen.
The fans of course were split in for and against Azizi fronts. Those who took Aziziâ€™s side argue that this is all a conspiracy against Azizi designed by Iranian football establishment. Others see this as yet another chapter in Aziziâ€™s turbulent career.
What is sad is that very few are pointing out the fact that this is yet another example of disregard for basic civic laws on behalf of those involved in Iranian football who think they are above the law.