Iran bans U.S. wrestling team from World Cup after Trump’s travel ban

Friday February 3rd, 2017

United States freestyle wrestlers will not be allowed to compete at the World Cup Feb. 16–17 in Iran, with Iran making the decision in response to President Donald Trump’s recent restrictions on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Iran is among the seven nations from which citizens are temporarily banned from entering the U.S. On Friday, the Islamic Republic News Agency spread news of the wrestling decision, which was reportedly reviewed by a special committee, and quoted Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman.

USA Wrestling issued a statement saying it has yet to be formally notified that Iran would prevent the team from entering the country.

“If these reports are true, USA Wrestling is extremely disappointed about this, which we believe would be an unacceptable situation,” the U.S. statement says. “Wrestling is about competition and goodwill through sport, and is no place for politics.”

The Iranian government responded to the news of Trump's executive order by announcing it planned to limit visas to Americans in addition to other measures.

The American team includes gold medalists Kyle Snyder and Jordan Burroughs, who won at the 2016 and 2012 Olympic Games, respectively. The team was scheduled to leave next week with a party of around 20 people in total.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.