TEHRAN, April 29, 2019 -  The Croatian NOC’s (HOO) President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Josip Čop spent the weekend (from April 25 to 29) in Tehran as heads of the Croatian delegation that visited the sports officials in Iran. On that occasion, Mateša met with the President of the Iranian NOC, Reza Salehi Amiri and Minister for Youth and Sports in the Iranian government Masoud Soltanifar, and the topic of the meeting was the improvement of sports cooperation between the two countries. The Croatian delegation counted also the Croatian NOC’s Vice President Sanda Čorak, President of the Croatian Handball Federation Tomislav Grahovac and Head of the Croatian NOC’s International Cooperation Department, Ljiljana Ujlaki Šubić.

The Tehran meeting was also successful by signing the Agreement on Sports Cooperation, which should open the way to better cooperation between the Croatian and Iranian national sports federations. It was an introduction to the Memorandum on Understanding between the Iranian and Croatian Handball Federation, signed by the President of the Iranian Handball Federation Alireza Pakdel and the President of the Croatian Handball Federation (HRS) Tomislav Grahovac. The host representative stressed that Croatia is the world's handball force, expressing hope that the Memorandum on Understanding will help improve the status of this sport in Iran. Grahovac announced the HRS' readiness provide assistance to the Iranian federation in raising the rating of the local handball and stated that there are special plans aimed at that goal.

Since the Croatian delegation included also the Croatian NOC’s Vice President Sanda Čorak, also the leader of the Croatian Judo Federation, on Sunday she met with the President of Iranian Judo Federation Arash Miresmaeili. After exchanging information and experiences on the work of national federations, they agreed future cooperation in the field of training of coaches and organization of joint preparations as well as sparring matches.

- It was the first official meeting of the two federations. Given our experiences in organizing international competitions and education of coaches, as well as great experience of Iranian judokas in certain categories, I believe that cooperation will bring us mutual benefits - said Sanda Čorak after the meeting in Tehran.

In July this year Zagreb will once again host the best judokas in the world and on that occasion we will probably watch the guests from Iran, led by the current World Champion (from the World Championships in Baku in 2018) in the category up to 81 kg Saeid Mollaei.

A Memorandum on Understanding between two handball federations, as well as an agreement on professional-educational cooperation between the two judo federations, was welcomed by the leaders of two National Olympic Committees - Zlatko Mateša and Reza Salehi Amiri. There is also the possibility of cooperation in other sports, for example - in basketball, wrestling, wushu, etc.

During its stay in Iran, the Croatian delegation was accompanied the entire time by the representatives of the Croatian Embassy in Iran, led by the Ambassador Dr. Drago Štambuk and our delegation met with the currently strongest "link" of the Croatian-Iranian sports connections – the football coach Branko Ivanković. (cnoc/VK)