Athlete Sent Home From Olympics Refusing To Face Israeli | 22 Words

Mohamed Abalrasool weighed in for the men's 73-kilogram judo division bout on Monday but has since failed to show up to face Isreal's Tohar Butbul in their round thirty-two match.

This is now the second Judoka who has dropped out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before facing Butbul.

Although The International Judo Foundation didn't immediately give a reason as to why Abdalrasool didn't compete, many people are believing it's got something to do with the ongoing conflict between Isreal and Palestine.

Algeria Fethi Nourine was also sent home from the Tokyo Games and suspended by The International Judo Foundation on Saturday after he withdrew to avoid a matchup with Butbul who ranks in 7th place in the world for his weight class.

Nourine's coach, Amar Benikhlef, said to Algerian Media: "We were not lucky with the draw. We got an Israeli opponent and that's why we had to retire. We made the right decision."

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The Algerian wrestler said his withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics was due to the possibility of confronting an opponent from Isreal and that ultimately, his withdrawal was a victory for Palestine.

Nourine said that: "The decision to withdraw is irreversible... We are in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. My withdrawal is in support of Palestine. My position is firm. I reject normalization in all its forms, even if it cost me that absence from the Olympic Games, God will compensate us."

The International Judo Federation also published a statement on its official website confirming that they've issued an official and final punishment after the meeting of its disciplinary committee after the end of the Olympic Games.

"Nourin and his coach Ammar Benkhlef announced to the media to withdraw. This position completely contradicts the philosophy of the International Judo Federation, which has a strict policy on discrimination and the promotion of solidarity as a basic principle, which is reinforced by the values of judo," the statement said as the Federation made it clear that they refused to mix politics and sport.

Nourine has previously refused to face Israeli wrestler in the 2nd round of the World Championship competition in Tokyo 2019.

The conflict between Isreal and Palestine lead to eleven days of fighting earlier this year, leaving at least 255 people dead, mostly in the Palestinian territory of Gaza which has been a 100-year-old issue, according to The BBC.

There are a number of conflicts that Isreal and Palestinians cannot agree on, including what should happen to Palestinian refugees, whether the 2 sides should share Jerusalem, and whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Isreal.

The BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, said that this latest round of violence seen between both Hamas and Isreal was the 4th big war since 2008. claiming that there will be another round of this if they do not come to an agreement.

And, regarding the Athlete's who've been sent home from Tokyo, an investigation has been opened into the issue as the International Judo Federation refuse to tolerate any form of discrimination.