Tokyo: An Algerian judo athlete will be deported from the Tokyo Olympics after he pulled out of competition to avoid facing an Israeli rival.
Fethi Noorin and her coach Amar Benikhlef told Algerian media they were holding back on Monday to avoid a possible second-round matchup with Israel’s Tohar Butbul in the men’s 73kg category. Naureen was drawn to face Mohamed Abdalrasool of Sudan in the opening round, with the winner facing fifth seed Butbul.
The executive committee of the International Judo Federation has temporarily suspended Noorin and Benikhlef, who are likely to face sanctions beyond the Olympics beginning Saturday. The Algerian Olympic Committee then withdrew recognition of both men and made plans to send them home.
The IJF stated that Nourine’s position was “in complete opposition to the philosophy of the International Judo Federation. The IJF has a strict non-discrimination policy, promoting solidarity as a core principle, reinforced by the values of Judo. “
Noorin and Benikhlef attributed their stance to their political support for the Palestinians.
Noorin also skipped the World Judo Championships in 2019 before he was scheduled to face Butbul, a much more skilled judo athlete than Noorin. Those World Championships were held in Budokan, site of the Olympic Judo tournament in Tokyo.
The world governing body of judo has remained steadfast in its anti-discrimination policies and strong support of Israel’s right to compete in recent years.
In April, the IJF suspended Iran for four years after the nation refused to allow its fighters to face Israel. The IJF said Iran’s policies were exposed when former Iranian judoka Saeed Mollai claimed he was ordered to lose the semi-finals of the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo to avoid facing world champion Sagi Muki of Israel in the final. Was.
The IJF called Iran’s policy “a serious violation and a gross violation of the IJF’s law, its legitimate interests, its principles and objectives”. Iran’s sanctions last until September 2023.
The IJF assisted in Mollei’s departure for Germany after the dispute, and he now represents Mongolia. He will take part in the Olympics on Tuesday.