Tokyo Olympics: Algerian judoka withdraws to avoid facing Israeli Opponent
Tokyo Olympics: Fethi Nourine told Algerian TV that his political support for the Palestinian cause made it impossible for him to compete against Tohar Butbul.
After the draw placed him in a likely match-up against an Israeli, an Algerian judoka has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics before the tournament starts.
Fethi Nourine told Algerian TV that his political support for the Palestinian cause made it impossible for him to compete against Tohar Butbul.
“We worked a lot to reach the Olympics, and the news came as a shock, a thunder,” he told the channel late on Thursday. Nourine said his decision was “final,” and he would not “get his hands dirty.”
On Monday, the 30-year-old was set to compete in his first men’s 73 kg fight against Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool. A win would have put him in the following round against Butbul, who has a first-round bye.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone on for decades, with tensions escalating this year as clashes in disputed Jerusalem sparked cross-border conflicts.
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