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News number: 9107121690

16:55 | 2012-11-24

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Ali Karimi to Pursue Children's Rights after Parting from Professional Soccer

TEHRAN (FNA)- Asian wizard Ali Karimi, who is one of the three nominees for the 2012 Asian player of the year after winning the same title in 2004, said that he hopes to expand and boost his social activities to defend children's rights and promote clean sports in Iran and the world after retiring from his professional soccer career.

"I like to continue my activities after soccer in other social fields like defending the children's basic rights and clean sports and I hope to be able to attain this goal," Karimi said in an exclusive interview with FNA in Tehran on Thursday.

Asked about his general view of soccer and sports, he said, "Sports is an arena for health and healthiness and it should, thus, be at the service of public health."

He stressed that borders, colors and races cannot set any limitation or restriction in sports and all people from healthy men and women to paralytic can enter the field without any limitation.

Karimi lamented that a number of athletes try forbidden means like doping materials to embrace victory and attain their goals. "I have been active in this sport (football) for years and my mind has always been busy with issues related to it. We should move on the right path in our sport activities and I believe that sports is a scene for chivalry, fairness, truthfulness and closeness of hearts."

"What is important is to always pursue honesty during our sports activities and avoid going after short-term results."

"I believe the notion of peace and a world free from lies and deceits are vital and essential concepts which should always be in our mind, and we should avoid thinking about short-term subjects," the Iranian legend said.

As regards his plans after retiring from the soccer world, Karimi said, "I am willing to focus my efforts on social issues such as children's basic rights and clean sports after my professional soccer life and I hope to reach my goal."

Asked to comment about his nomination as one of the three finalists for the 2012 Asian player of the year title, he said, "I thank God for being in the list of the finalists and this nomination is really sweet to me because I know that my people, the people of my country are glad too. I hope to gladden people's hearts with better matches in future, and I hope that our country's football community will win another honor and glory in the final ceremony of the 2012 Asian player of the year."

Ali Karimi of Iran has been nominated for the 2012 AFC Player of the Year award. Korea Republic and China have a player each in the list.

Ali Karimi, 2004 AFC Player of the Year, returned to the list of contenders while Lee Keun-ho, who helped Korea Republic side Ulsan Hyundai win the AFC Champions League this year, and Evergrande's defender Zheng Zhi have also found a place in the top three