Thursday 27 January 2022

Saudi journalists encourage judoka to face Israeli opponent in Olympics

Othman Al-Omeir, the editor of the news website Elaph, tweeted: “I support Tahani Al-Qahtani, whether she wins or loses. It will be a disgrace [only] if she withdraws.”

A debate on social media is raging over whether Saudi judoka Tahani Al-Qahtani should show up for her match against Israeli judoka Raz Hershko at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.


According to a report by MEMRI published on Monday, some Saudis and Palestinians have called on Al-Qahtani to withdraw from the games, though many Saudi journalists and intellectuals online are encouraging her to show up for the match.


The calling came as two men judoka from Algeria and Sudan rejected a match against an Israeli rival, withdrawing from the competitions.


Algeria’s Fethi Nourine was sent home from the Tokyo Games and suspended by the IJF on Saturday after he withdrew to avoid a potential round of 32 matchup with Butbul. Nourine was supposed to face Abdalrasool for the right to meet Butbul.

Also, Olympic officials say Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool didn’t show up to face Butbul in their round of 32 bout Monday despite weighing in for the bout earlier.

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