United World Wrestling (UWW) has reacted to Iran’s travel ban on American wrestlers to the Freestyle World Cup in response to President Donald Trump's executive order forbidding visas for Iranians, stating that the sports body values the decision.
“Though we had hoped for a different outcome from Iran's Foreign Ministry, we appreciate the complex nature of this decision. We are currently working to find a solution for the Freestyle World Cup as soon as possible,” UWW President Nenad Lalović said in a statement on Friday.
He added, “Despite the travel restrictions between their countries, I've been encouraged this week by the cooperation and friendship of the Iranian Wrestling Federation and USA Wrestling. As we've seen over the years, wrestling is a sport that unites people and nations. United World Wrestling hosts a full calendar of events every season and we're certain to see American and Iranian wrestlers on the same mat again in the very near future.”
The statement came shortly after the Iranian Foreign Ministry officially barred the US wrestling team from taking part in the 2017 Freestyle World Cup, which is scheduled to be held at Imam Khomeini Sport Venue in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah between February 16 and 17.
Meanwhile, a US federal judge in Seattle, Washington, has ordered a temporary and nationwide halt to Trump’s controversial travel ban on citizens from seven predominately Muslim nations.
The ruling by District Judge James Robart prompted government authorities to immediately communicate with airlines and begin taking steps that would allow those previously affected to travel.
On January 27, Trump signed an executive order that imposed a 90-day ban on the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, blocked refugees from Syria indefinitely, and suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days.