Paralympics Becomes Political: Iran Pulls Wheelchair Basketball Team From Games

James SenbetaCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2008

Fearing facing Israel as the winner of Canada/Israel quarterfinal matchup if they had defeated the United States, Iran's mens wheelchair basketball team has withdrawn from the 2008 Paralympics. The US/Iran game has resulted in a 20-0 forfeit in favor to the United States.

Iran does not acknowledge Israel as a country and forbids any official contact with them. Iran cited "changes in scheduling" as their primary reason for the move, denying a political motive towards the US.

The original schedule was Canada/Israel at 9am and US/Iran at 11:15 but the start times for each game were later flipped.

Canada went on to defeat Israel 55-47, setting up a semifinal matchup between the two gold metal favorites in Canada and the United States tomorrow.