Letter: Pakistan also at fault

In response to Elie Dvorin’s Thursday article concerning the Iranian athlete’s refusal to compete against an Israeli at the Athens Olympics, I am very glad to see that a writer for The Daily Illini has the courage to confront such a prejudiced act by the state of Iran. It was truly a disgrace to the Olympic Games, and the “true spirit of sportsmanship.”

This was not the first time in the history of international sports that such inappropriate actions were taken against Israel.

In Wimbledon 2002, a Pakistani tennis player, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, paired up with an Israeli, Amir Hadad. The two players originally played in single tournaments and never performed particularly well on their own. However, as partners, they managed to make their way into the third round of the paired tennis competition. Their success was one of the greatest surprises of the Wimbledon competition that year.

Rather than celebrate Qureshi’s accomplishment, Pakistan chose to condemn him for playing with an Israeli, because of an anti-Israel policy similar to that of Iran. Before the competition, Pakistan had even threatened to ban Qureshi from all sporting events. This was challenged by the International Tennis Federation, which strongly opposed such an act poor sportsmanship.

The Israeli player, Hadad, summed up his relationship with Qureshi, stating, “I pick him up only because of his talent and his skills in tennis. And I also like him as a person.It’s always fun to be with somebody that you like on the court. We have fun together and that’s it.”

International sports such as Wimbledon and the Olympics provide an opportunity for all nations of the world to compete fairly, without involving politics. Apparently, some nations think that they are above this system and too good to play by the rules.

Jeremy Glassenberg

junior in engineering