It is really hard to think of why many Iranian athletes/sportsmen , who by playing for the national teams, thus serving their country, giving their best to raise the tri colored flag , fight for honors , respect and victory of the motherland and in the process could be exposed to injuries that could life threatening or permanently handicapped, why are these Iranian athletes/sportsmen are not categorized as serving the nations and even worse, prevented from joining their teams that needs them ??
The same person that is wanted in Australia to defend the national honors of Iran in the Asian Cup is considered an outlaw if he does not join the military service and work in a remote village teaching some kids how to run or write. Surely , if the person is talented enough , he must be utilized and serve the country in his filed and specialty rather than wasting him. This is the fundamental of proper Human Resource Management.
The question that begs itself for the Iranian government and lawmakers is, what is the meaning of National Service and why representing the country is NOT considered national service although the media is always ready to hype the players and the fans by pointing to the patriotic duty of football players and other athletes as servant or soldiers of the country when talking part in competitions abroad?!
There is quite a bit of contradiction in the philosophy of the system of National Service. In the World Cup, Mehrdad Pooladi is a hero who is serving his nation, but a few months later, he is a villain and a deserter for trying to do the same in Australia without doing the military service!
Granted, there are laws in Iran governing the military or national service which has to be respected. The question though if these laws are truly reflecting the concept of national service, especially when talking about peace time. These laws need to be amended, serving one’s country cannot only be in the Military field, it could be in the scientific, agricultural, sport and many other fields. The Military should NOT have the exclusive monopoly on people. Law makers need to seriously address this area. National service must re-defined from the archaic system inherited from the days of the pre-revolution era.
As it is , there are many instances where a person can be granted exemption from national service in Iran, why not add sporting duty while representing the country, to that long list?