ISP Editorial: The Sky is blue for Naser Hejazi
IranSportsPress.com: The first time the news of Naser Hejazi’s hospitalization shook Iran football atmosphere, just like millions of other Iranian football fans from blue or red, green or yellow teams to North, South, East or West of Iran, there was a heavy sense of disappointment, and sadness for the injustices in this world; that why should a legendary goalkeeper, rated by RSSSF as second best goalkeeper of the century in Asia, a true gentleman and a man of principles, gets shattered by lung-cancer and its enduring struggles while certain other betraying officials and coaches live a problem-free life on and off the green pitch in Iran?
It was even more painful, when Iranian football fans heard his son’s honest backlash at Iran football officials and their corruption, even when hospitalizing his ill father. Atila Hejazi, the former football player, as bluntly as his father, tried to make his point crossed at hospital by “asking football officials to not visit his hospitalized father. Because what all these officials come for, when they pay a hospital visit for a veteran athlete, is to be caught on camera, and gain fame and popularity in this way“.
Undeniably, it hurts so much that sadly one cannot even disagree with Atila Hejazi in his valid point, because it is just the plain truth. When was the last time our football officials visited our uninsured former footballers being hospitalized and dying on hospital beds? They only paid visits to those footballers who were extremely popular, and they knew they would gain much popularity by visiting those former athletes, or else the truth is, current Iran football officials with background in Iran Revolutionary Guard(Sepah), such as current Iran Football Federation deputy, Mehdi Taj, or current head of IPL committee, Azizolah Mohamadi, or current Iran Sport organization boss, Saeedloo, Ahmadinejad’s former financial deputy at Tehran Mayoral office, whose under his reign Tehran city revenue mysteriously came short by a margin of billions of dollars, they care less if there is one fewer passionate and legendary figures(like Naser Hejazi) left alive in Iran football.
The fact is, Naser Hejazi is in for a long and painful battle to fight cancer. As an intense follower of Iran sport news, I have a strong sense that his stressful life on and off the pitch in the past decade has had its toll on his body to break out in the shape of cancer. All those years of Hejazi’s fight to reveal the roots of our football problems, to prove that he is worth it to coach a decent IPL club if given authority, to prove that all these decades Iran football officials have mismanaged our football to the extent that within only 9 years Iran football has diminished from a 2-times qualifying World Cup team, to a team that not only cannot qualify to World Cup games anymore, but can barely even win an effortless friendly games against West Asian teams! As always, Naser Hejazi was right when in his recent comments he said: “Iran not qualifying to World Cup 2010 was not the reflection of Iran National team squad weakness, but rather true reflection of our weakened football fsuch as club teams, league standard and national team management, that its bubble finally burst during Iran’s 2010 World Cup qualifying games“.
And he continued: “But that does not mean there is no hope for Iran national team, and Iran football in general. If Iran football is managed properly by professional officials and standards, Iranian team can get back on its feet again and amaze the opponents once again.”
Naser Hejazi, You are right. There is hope for future of Iran football. There is lots of hope in fact. There are thousands of passionate, caring, young, old and knowledgeable former players, coaches and officials standing in line for a chance to prove their expertise to manage and improve Iranian teams; without controversy, corruption, Doping, 3rd party agents, government intervention, and government-funded club ownership and management; A complete freedom from all the above cancerous cells in our football, only to clean our football from their interventions, and let our football once again take a fresh breath and start from scratch; Because for every cancerous element in our football , there are tons of passionate people who like to contribute to our football. A new generation of coaching figures whom only need to be given a chance to prove their worth, such as Mehdi Pashazadeh, Alireza Mansouriam, Farshad Pius, AliAsghar ModirRoosta, Ali Daei, Khodadad Azizi, Mohamad Khakpour, Javad Zarincheh, Afshin Peyrovani, Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, Kamalvand, Vahid Hashemian, Mehdi Mahdavikia and many many more; Under supervision of likes of Dr.Zolfagharnasab, Majid Jalali, Naser Hejazi, Alidousti and many reputable foreign coaches who will soon once more be willing to coach in Iran. Those young Iranian coaches are just waiting for the blue sky again to appear throughout Iran football again, so they can be given a chance to shine and let thousands and millions of talented young Iranian players to glimmer across Iran, Asia and Europe again.
Naser Hejazi, the sky is blue, just like your mind, the prestigious club you brought honours for, and your future. Just do your best to win the battle over the cancerous cells within your body, because the future is so bright for Iran, and within reach. We look forward to your healthy return, the future is in our hands; Once again that is.