An Algerian judo competitor has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics after studying he may have confronted an Israeli opponent.
Fethi Nourine mentioned his political assist for the Palestinian trigger made it unimaginable to compete in opposition to Tohar Butbul.
He informed Algerian TV he wouldn’t “get his arms soiled” and his “choice was last”.
“We labored loads to succeed in the Olympics, and the information got here as a shock, a thunder”, he added.
The 30-year-old was drawn in opposition to Sudan’s Mohamed Asdalrasool on Monday for his first match within the males’s 73kg class. If he had received that match, he would have confronted Butbul, who has a first-round bye, within the subsequent spherical.
Nourine additionally withdrew from the world championships in 2019 for a similar motive.
On the time, his coach Amar Ben Yaklif was quoted in Algerian media saying: “We had been unfortunate with the draw. We obtained an Israeli opponent and that is why we needed to retire. We made the best choice.”
Tensions between Israel and Palestinians flared in Jerusalem earlier this yr inflicting the worst violence within the area since 2014.
The battle between the 2 sides has been happening for many years and has seen athletes from Iran and Egypt additionally beforehand refuse to compete in opposition to Israeli opponents.
The opening ceremony for this yr’s Olympic video games came about on Friday, with followers not allowed within the nationwide stadium for the occasion resulting from COVID-19 considerations.
As a substitute, round 1,000 dignitaries and members of the media had been allowed the witness the spectacular occasion.