Olympics Punishes Algerian Judoka for Refusing to Face Israeli Opponent
The International Olympic Committee punishes Algerian Fethi Nourine, who had left the Tokyo Olympics to avoid facing an Israeli opponent in support of the Palestinian cause.
The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday its decision to suspend Algerian Judo champion Fethi Nourine and his coach Amar Benikhlef, on account of Nourine's withdrawal from the Tokyo2020 Olympics' judo competition to avoid facing an Israeli opponent, in solidarity with Palestine.
The Committee announced that it has decided to suspend Nourine for 10 years after he withdrew from his match against judoka Mohammad Abdel-Rasoul in the top 32, with the latter also withdrawing to avoid playing against an Israeli player in the top 16.
Nourine told the Algerian press that he was "shocked" by the sentence, adding that he was not expecting it to be as severe and that he will appeal it.
The judoka's withdrawal from the competition was met with great support on social media, at a time when Saudi Tahani al-Qahtani went up against an Israeli opponent and lost.
Nourine had also withdrawn from the 2019 World Judo Championship, which was also held in Tokyo, in order to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.