The 27-year-old middle blocker Ali Shafiei should have been the first Iranian player to compete in the French male Volleyball League as he made an agreement to join Poitiers for the 2019/20 season. However, according to the club President Claude Berrard, the transfer was stopped by the athlete’s country high instances.
“We received an official letter telling us that he is not allowed to leave Iran since this country declared a state of war,” Claude Berrard explained for La Nouvelle République.
The United States blamed Iran for attacking two of its oil tankers in the Middle Eastern waterway at the end of June which raised already flammable tensions between these two countries that affected Volleyball as well.
The two-time French champions Poitiers will seek justice in front of International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
“He signed a contract with us. We demand compensation and we have asked for it. We will also check that he plays in Iran and that he does not move to another country. If this is not the case, we will oppose it. This situation is damaging for us because he is a very good player,” the president of Poitiers stated.
Last season, Ali Shafiei played for Saipa Tehran and became the Iranian Championship runner-up with the club. Twelve times in the Volley Nations League with his National Team, he had accumulated interesting statistics (81 winning attacks and 11 aces) to the Final Six of this competition.
At this moment, Poitiers head coach Brice Donat can only rely on the Brazilian Gladtsone Jr and Marc Zopie as middle-blockers and this will certainly not be enough for the entire season in League A.
Source and photo: lanouvellerepublique.fr