Abbasi: In their materialist world, football players who received millions of dollars and during these years went to Germany’s Arminia Bliefield or Qatari teams, what have they done for these people? What is the use of a football player for the society? Nothing! We take 120,000 people to Azadi Stadium for nothing. And until morning prayer, they air 90 Show [football magazine] to rewind and fast forward the tape to see who pulled the jersey of who. Do you know what this means? This is Satan’s work; this is negligence. Who dares to criticize football and football players in a society where 120,000 people gather together to watch football? Football players are hooligans who have no stories. Go and see those great people who are fighting in Syria so that these people have security to play football; is any one of them enthralled by football? I say it loudly to the youths: don’t forget that football players are hooligans. Their existence has no impact on your life in this and next world. Which one of these football heroes can cure any problems in the society? They have nothing but expectations from others. They are constantly being shown on TV. And they have high expectations about the football field, about the goals, about his person not paying that one. It is all about money. They are paid billions of tomans, but if their salaries are paid a little late, they will complain to foreigners in FIFA. People have a series of heroes who are not known until they get martyred. But there are also a series of hollow heroes who are called football players. They bring foreigners to teach them how to play football. You can imagine what kind of a hero would learn his manners from foreigners! But we are followers of Prophet Abraham. We break the idols. People worshipped idols. Abraham broke the idols and put the ax in the hands of the big idol. The idol of football and the idol of hollow heroes must be broken in the society. The idol of those who gouge billions of tomans and after 50, 60 years that we have had football in the country, they still bring a foreigner and pay him from people’s money to teach them football. As a matter of fact, this broken system must be discarded. I am not like those presidents who would give medal of bravery to Mr. Ali X to go to America and have a house in Las Vegas. I am not used to worshipping the dead. The youths who come to my class must be able to go to Syria and Iraq and get martyred.
[Iranian propogandist and former IRGC official Hassan Abbasi criticizes Iranian football players and calls them hollow heroes. He says those who get killed in Syria and Iraq as real heroes.]