Refuses Israelis! Banned Algerian Judo Player Takes IJF to Arbitration

Published March 9th, 2022 - 12:13 GMT
Fethi Nourine
Fethi Nourine (twitter)

ALBAWABA - He is being hailed as an Arab hero for refusing to face his Israeli opposite at the last Tokyo Olympics that was held in July 2021. 

Judo Champion Algerian fighter Fethi Nourine has become an Arab sensation for refusing to fight an Israeli judo competitor because of his political stands regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestine. 

His move is now being lauded by netizens on social media platforms as an Arab sportsman standing up for his principles which is not to normalize with the Israelis under any circumstances and as long as they occupy Palestine.

This off course has upset many international sports bodies and councils who called it as mixing sports with politics. Nourine's refusal also angered the International Judo Federation and after investigations imposed a 10-year ban on the player for his actions and suspending him from international games. His trainer Amar Benikhlef was also banned from being involved in the sport.

As expected this also upset them as something that is grossly unfair. Nourine is a long-time championship and is now planning to contest his suspension by going to the international Court of Arbitration of Sports, accusing the body of "double standards." 

Many social media buffs have praised the Algerian player for initially refusing to face an Israeli and then for his last action to take the Judo body to arbitration so that he can put his case forward.

His name is being uttered on the social media with hashtags both in Arabic and English ( #فتحي_نورين, #FethiNourine). As well, his name is also being uttered under different sections of social media platforms: One says:

"I swear to God, a salute to Noreen..he is the Algerian sports hero for refusing to meet a an Israeli player...I salute you for this."

Many Arab sportsmen refuse to compete with Israelis in international competitions. Take the case of Abdul Razzaq Al-Baghli from Kuwait. He withdrew from the Motosurf Championship in the UAE to avoid competing against an Israeli competitor. This is how one sees it:


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