Iran Forfeits Quidditch World Cup Rather Than Face Israel

Outside a core of staunch regime loyalists and among Iran's Shiite supporters in the Middle East, fan and official reactions have uniformly criticized Iran's decision.

Dubai, October 19 - Enthusiasts of the wizarding world's most popular sport burst into a fervor of animated discussion today following an announcement by the Islamic Republic of Iran that its team will refuse to compete in the championship game of the International League because the opponent in that game will be Israel, a country that Iran's government refuses to recognize and has repeatedly threatened to destroy.

Director of Sport and Culture at Iran's Ministry of Magic Ononat Dissaghen issued a statement Tuesday following Israel's upset 160-20 victory over number-one-ranked Croatia two weeks ago in the semifinal match. Iran's team had defeated Ireland, ranked at number three, two days before. "We will not grant the illegal, illegitimate Zionist entity the undeserved dignity of playing against its representatives in this competition. Our principles have always been, and will remain, stringer than any greed for accolades or trophies. The brutal occupation by foreigners of Islamic lands in Palestine must cease." If Iran follows through on its threat to boycott the final, Israel will become champion by default, and Iran faces possible sanctions from the sport's governing bodies.

Speculation that Iran might remove itself from competition rather than face Israel first occurred earlier this year, when both underdog countries overcame higher-ranked teams in a series of tight, often-brutal games. Most commentators and fans dismissed the possibility of Iran and Israel - ranked seventeenth and twenty-third, respectively - advancing far enough for such a matchup to become imaginable. However, after Iran pulled off a dramatic 200-190 upset over Indonesia in February, and Israel gave fifth-place Egypt a 330-110 drubbing, talk of a possible meeting between the two became a daily feature of sports analysis.

Outside a core of staunch regime loyalists and among Iran's Shiite supporters in the Middle East, fan and official reactions have uniformly criticized Iran's decision. "Sport has always been about bridging otherwise unbridgeable gaps," insisted former Puddlemere United keeper Oliver Wood, now a commentator for the team. "Instead of facing each other on a bloody battlefield, we do it by proxy on a relatively less bloody Quidditch pitch. It's so much more civilized. This irresponsible, I would say childish, move by Iran deprives countless enthusiasts of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Israel's came-out-of-nowhere rookies square off against the precision-coordinated chasers of Iran."

Months of preparation for the contest in Dubai now appear to be for naught, with sunk expenses in excess of two hundred million British galleons. Hospitality and sport-related enterprises in the UAE have already indicated they will sue Iran for the lost investment and of the potential revenue the game would have generated.

Please support our work through Patreon.

H2
H3
H4
3 columns
2 columns
1 column
Join the conversion now