Igor Kolakovic: Hospitality rooted in Iranian culture
TEHRAN – Ex-Iran volleyball coach Igor Kolakovic says that Iranians are perhaps the most hospitable nation in the world.
The Montenegrin is coach of Polish club Zawiercie at the moment after parting company with Iran.
In an interview with sportowefakty.wp.pl, Kolakovic has praised the Iranian players and people as well.
“I had a great staff there and I always felt that the players, assistants, medical staff and team manager were part of my family not my colleagues. I met many great people, a new culture, customs and lifestyle. Iranian people are very friendly. The country’s volleyball players are good guys and great athletes as well,” Kolakovic said.
There have been quarrels between Iran and Poland volleyball teams in the recent years. However, Kolakovic says that most of the meetings between the two teams went quite normally.
“In my opinion, the matches between the two teams are based on sports rivalry. When these two teams play together, there is always a good show. The quarrel between Iran and Poland started in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. In the 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup we lost 3-0 to Poland but the players shook hands after the match and that’s it.
“Before of the match, I talked to my players about the previous quarrels and they told me not to worry about it since it was a thing of the past. In fact, the last disagreement between Iranians and Poles took place four years ago in Rio. I believe that Iranian volleyball players are respected in Poland. Milad Ebadipour currently plays in PlusLiga and Mohammad Mousavi and Pouria Fayazi have already played in the league,” Kolakovic added.
Captain of the Polish national volleyball team Michal Kubiak disrespected Iranian people last year and was forced by the disciplinary committee of FIVB to apologize to the Iranian people for the comments he has made about them.
Kolakovic says Kubiak made mistakes since the Iranian people are very nice.
“I was in Iran and I lived among these people for three years and I know that what Kubiak said about them is not true. If he had spent a little more time there like me, he would have changed his mind. Just like anywhere else in the world, there are great and good people as well as those you don’t want to meet on your way. I think they are the most hospitable nation in the world. That is why I feel obliged to defend their image,” he stated.
“The Iranian people like to help others, especially foreigners. In the building where I lived, it happened many times that one of the neighbors stood at my door with a supermarket bag saying it was for me. Great hospitality and willingness to help are deeply rooted in the Iranian culture,” Kolakovic concluded.