Thursday 21 October 2021 
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Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine banned for 10 years for Tokyo Olympics protest

Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine has been banned for 10 years after he withdrew from the Olympics over the prospect of facing the Zionist regime competitor.

Competing in the men’s 73kg judo, the African lightweight champion withdrew from the competition before it had even begun as he faced the prospect of a second-round match with the Zionist regime’s Tohar Butbul.

 

Nourine, who won the African Senior Championship in May for the third time, was set to face Sudanese judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool but shocked the world when he withdrew from the tournament.

 

Speaking to an Algerian television station, Nourine said his political support for the Palestinian cause made it impossible for him to compete against an Israeli.

 

“We worked a lot to reach the Olympics … but the Palestinian cause is bigger than all of this,” he said, adding that his decision was “final”.

 

Reports in Israeli media cited Nourine as saying “we will not recognise the Israeli flag and we will not stain our hands with it”.

 

Nourine’s coach Amar Benikhlef said the Algerians “were unlucky with the draw”.

 

“We got an Israeli opponent and that is why we had to withdraw,” he said. “We made the right decision.”

 

But the decision has essentially ended the 30-year-old’s career at the top level after the International Judo Federation banned both Nourine and Benikhlef for a decade.




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