Last past week, as we witnessed Brazil being awarded the Olympics for 2016, I could not help but wonder if there was even the remotest possibility of Iran or perhaps Tehran being awarded the Olympics for 2020. I know it’s a distant possibility - a silly dream. But could it be that Iran, or more specifically Iranians can put right, what is so badly wrong with Iran within four years?
Having been in Brazil in the mid 70’s, I have watched how Brazil has transformed itself from decades of dictatorship and backwardness to a modern, secular, democratic and vibrant nation we can all be proud of as a positive contributor to the international community. Brazil, by the way, also won the right to host the 2014 (soccer) world cup!!
I know without the theocracy, Iran too can very quickly emerge as a positive force in the world community. So much progress could be made, so quickly, that four years from now, the whole world would feel compelled to award the Olympics to Iran for 2020.
But, what would we have to do?
1. Get rid of Iran’s theocracy.
2. Transform our laws, to liberate our society and especially Iranian women from compulsory Hejab (allowing for multi-gender International Olympic Games to takes place in Iran)
3. Remove government control of Iranian Sports and Entertainment (to once again allow Iranian athletes and teams to emerge on the world scene)
4. Begin a massive public infrastructure rebuilding program (airports, roads, telecommunications, metro, stadiums, etc.) with a view towards presenting a modern capital, a modern nation that is fully integrated with its neighbors and the world!
A tall order, I know. But we can dream. Perhaps this could be an inspiration (if we ever needed it) to finally topple the Mullahs and reclaim our dignity as a nation, and celebrate our pride as Iranians on the world stage?
If we miss this opportunity for the Olympics, perhaps Iran could bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which would correspond with Hejri Shamsi year 1401! Perhaps this could be more transformational and inspiring, since Iranian soccer symbolizes just about everything that is wrong with Iran. The national team can’t even get friendly games in foreign countries and could not even qualify for the world cup losing ridiculously to the great soccer power house of Bahrain (a former part of Iran) among other nations. Soccer in Iran suffers from government interference in the sport (with crony managers and coaches).
Another possibility would be for Iran to jointly bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup along with Afghanistan and Tajikistan; and use the award as an opportunity to create new stadiums, new infrastructure and new linkages with its Farsi speaking neighbors.
Another great possibility would be to host the FIFA Women’s world Cup in 2023 or the Hejri Samsi Year 1402! This could be a celebration of a new dawn of freedom in the region.
I came up with a logo concept based on the pomegranate (a symbol of the region, of health, and of prosperity) which could serve both international events. The fruit could of coarse be modified to symbolize a soccer ball.
Maybe Pomegranate trees can replace the poppy fields in the region! The sports institutions can inspire nations as well as individuals to greatness.
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