The Iranian men’s volleyball team is certainly making its presence known in its first Olympics ever.
After a hard-fought fifth set on Day 2 of the preliminary round Tuesday, Iran and Poland nearly came to blows at the net in a benches-clearing incident:
Also according to the Iranian volleyball Twitter account, Iranian setter Saeid Marouf said he doesn’t know what’s wrong with the Polish players:
Polish outside hitter Michal Kubiak responded to the incident and Marouf in that same press conference, saying (h/t VarzeshVideo.com):
“We like them. It’s just emotion that we give off during the game. They laugh inside the court in our face. I don’t care. For me, it’s just a part of the sport. We stare at them, they stare at us. They smile at us, we smile at them. It’s just a sport. But in the end, for me, the most important thing is just the result.
“It’s not about beating anybody or going to a fight with anybody. I just want to win and I will do everything in my power to win the games against any kind of team. Not against them, personally. I have nothing to do with them, personally. For me, it’s just a normal game. I want to win. This is the Olympics. For me, this is the story of my life. I want to be here; I want to win here. So I will do everything to win. That’s it.”