Mehr News reported that after Iran had been drawn with Argentine in the Group F in Brazil World Cup 2014, about 40,000 comments in Persian had been posted in Lionel Messi’s Facebook page, part of which was offensive and invective.
In reaction Messi said he was sorry for comments and described them’ totally unfriendly.’ Emad Afrough, parliamentarian and university lecturer told Mehr News in an interview about the event in Facebook that “in politics such unethical issues are usual in recent years which emanate from the culture of a particular group; but in sports and about athletes, few cases of such disrespect have been recorded,” he added.
“ an investigation should be carry out to find how the event which had found extensive media coverage and depicted a bad mentality about the Iranian public, took place and what is its origins,” Afrough said.
Asked about the possible reasons behind posting such insulting comments on Messi’s page, Afrough said that “it should be proved that Iranians and Persian speakers themselves and without any plans have posted the comments. I suspect that the event is a planned program. Perhaps a small group had perpetrated that.”
“I wonder why Iranians, with such positive approach to sports and athletes and reverence of world renowned athletes, would do such a thing. In some occasions even, this reverence turns into extreme excitement about the sport figures,” Afrough asserted.
“I was surprised to hear the news. I did not see the comments myself. If true, it seems to be planned, with the objective of defile our public faces. If posted in the name of Iranians, it would be a national shame, depicting a bad image of Iranians,” he believed, and that “ however we have not an acceptable sport ethics, in no time did I believe that the immorality originated from the public, but that this is the powerful politicians who would perpetuate the immorality among the public.”
“This event has nothing to do with the government and political figures. It is a source of shame and I do not want to conclude that our public culture has moved to such terrains, but I suggest that those who are sensitive and know that this was despoiling Iranian public face act on time to alleviate the effect of comments, and try to counterbalance the negative effects of comments,” Afrough said.
“ Lionel Messi is a world-class player either technically or in ethics, and perhaps comments had not been intended to demoralize Messi; on the contrary, it would not demoralize him, but to defile Iranian public face,” he said, and that “ if any verbal fighting among athletes arises, it would not end in vilification.”
Afrough believed that such comments would not assumed disrespect to Messi. Nor it would be assumed verbal fight, “but a public shame for Iranians, their identity, and culture.”