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Tokyo Olympics: Palestinian Judo Fighter Quits The Olympics Instead Of Fighting His Israeli Opponent 




Mohamed Abdalrasool has pulled out of Tokyo Olympics instead of facing Israeli fighter Tohar Butbul, becoming the second judo star to leave the games rather than face an Israeli opponent.


(L-R ) Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool and Israeli fighter Tohar Butbul.

The 28-year-old was a no-show for his fight against 27-year-old Tohar Butbul in the 73kg class on Monday morning, July 26.

It comes after Fethi Nourine of Algeria quit the contest last week because he might have had to fight Butbul, saying he was protesting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians amid the long-running conflict between both countries.

Abdalrasool, ranked 469th in the world, has not given a reason for withdrawing from the fight, despite showing up for the weigh-in earlier in the day.

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Fethi Nourine of Algeria was originally due to face Abdalrasool in the opening round of the men’s 73kg content with the winner of that fight progressing to face Butbul. But the 30-year-old Algerian and his coach Amar Benikhlef announced their decision to withdraw from the contest on Thursday rather than risk facing an Israeli opponent.

Nourine later told Algerian TV that he didn’t want to ‘get his hands dirty and that withdrawing was the ‘right thing to do.’

‘We have worked hard to qualify for the Games, but the Palestinian cause is bigger than all that,’ he said.

‘My position is consistent on the Palestinian issue, and I reject normalisation, and if it cost me that absence from the Olympic Games, God will compensate.’

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