Over the years we have reported how Iranian judoka and other athletes went to extreme lengths to avoid Israelis. From faking injuries to hilariously rolling around the mat to lose a match. All so they wouldn’t have to face an Israeli athlete in the next round.
It would seem that the International Judo Federation gave a warning to Iran, saying that if they did not stop doing this, they would be unable to compete in competitions. To avoid embarrassment, Iran has said they will now compete with Israelis. Although, time will tell if this comes to fruition.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
The International Judo Federation said it had reached an agreement with Iran to end its athletes’ boycott of Israelis in competitions.
On Saturday, the federation posted a letter on its website in which Iran’s National Olympic Committee said it would “fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle.”
Neither the statement by the International Judo Federation nor the Iranian letter mentioned Israel, but an analysis posted Sunday on the federation site said that “the context is clear.”
“In a historic breakthrough, the International Judo Federation announced that for Iran’s judo athletes the boycotts would be no more,” the article said.
Iranian judokas have forfeited matches against Israelis for decades.
Iran does not recognize Israel as a country and its leaders at various times have called for its destruction. Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran had no intentions of destroying Israel, but the Jewish state would end up destroying itself.