Algerian Quits Olympics Rather Than Take On Israeli In Judo Match

By Newsie Events Media

In order not to face an Israeli opponent, an Algerian judo competitor, preferred to ditch the Tokyo Olympics, IgbereTV reports.

According to reports, this was the second time in two years that ninth-ranked Algerian, Fethi Nourine withdrew from a major judo competition rather than take on sixth-ranked Israeli Tohar Butbul.

Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, told Algerian media that they were boycotting Butbul to support the Palestinians.

“My position of the Palestinian issue is firm,” Nourine said on Thursday. “I will not recognize the Israeli flag, and I will not get my hands dirty with it.”

Benikhlef said “we were not lucky with the draw.”

“We got an Israeli opponent, and that’s why we had to retire,” the coach said. “We made the right decision.”

There has been no official response from the Israelis, but the International Judo Federation quickly slapped Nourine and his coach with a temporary suspension and said both could face more sanctions after the games are over.

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