Argentina played the tournament in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, USA, against the hosts, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, finishing third in the pool. Thus, they will have to seek their way towards Tokyo Olympic Games through continental qualifications in January next year.
“Las Panteras“ competed in the Qualifier without their head coach Hernán Ferraro whose entrance to the United States has not been authorized because he traveled to Iran years ago.
“I have an Italian passport, so I didn’t need a visa. On July 10, I started the corresponding authorization (ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization by the U.S. Homeland Security), which takes 72 hours. They didn’t answer me, it was pending… On the form, they ask you if you went to Iran or Iraq. Then, finally, weeks later they answered me that they needed more time because of my trip to Iran. When they blocked me, I started to process of getting visa in Argentina but at the embassy, they also told me that they needed more time because of my trip to Iran,” Ferraro told Télam.
Ferraro was Julio Velasco’s assistant in the Men’s national team of Iran between 2014 and 2018 and with them, he traveled from and to Iran to compete in all the elite tournaments under the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
In the Qualifier, he was replaced by his assistant Marcelo Silva and will return on the bench for the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
Recall that, a month ago, Iran Men’s national team was detained at the airport upon arriving in the United States.
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