On Monday, Sudanese Judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool dropped out of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in order to avoid facing an opponent from Israel, following suit of Algerian player Fethi Nourine, who did the same on Saturday.
In his match against Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul in the 73-kilogram division, Abdalarasool failed to show up at the arena, and the International Judo Foundation and Sudanese Olympic officials did not provide a reason why he missed the match.
In a similar fashion, Abdalrasool was supposed to face Algerian Fethi Nourine in an earlier round, but Nourine also pulled out of the Olympics on Saturday because the winner of that fight would have to take on Butbul. The Algerian judoka said he didn’t want to compete against Butbul due to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
As it stands, this is not a first for Nourine. The Algerian Judoka previously dropped out of the 2019 World Judo Championships to avoid competing against Butbul.
In reaction to this disrespect of Olympic rules, the International Judo Foundation temporarily suspended Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, citing the IJF’s “strict non-discrimination policy, promoting solidarity as a key principle, reinforced by the values of judo.” The case was referred to the IJF’s Disciplinary Commission “for further investigation, judgment and final sanctioning beyond the Olympic Games.”
The Algerian Olympic Committee also withdrew Nourine and his coach’s accreditation.