The International Judo Federation has taken strong action against the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia, cancelling their upcoming international judo events until they agree to treat all athletes equally.
The news comes after both countries discriminated against Israeli athletes by not allowing Israelis to compete using their countries name or flag and when an Israeli athlete won in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, he was not allowed to have the Israeli national anthem.
SHAMEFUL – Watch the shocking discrimination against Israeli athlete Tal Flicker as he wins GOLD at the Judo Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, but is denied the Israeli national anthem and flag.Well done to Tal who sang the words to Hatikvah despite his anthem not being played.Shockingly, this tournament is a qualifier for the Olympics, so the Israeli athletes were forced to compete without representing their country or else they wouldn't be able to compete in the 2020 Olympics.When will the world stand up to this bigotry and hatred? It is an absolute disgrace!#Judo #Israel #AntiSemitism #ChristiansAgainstAntiSemitism
Posted by Christians United for Israel – UK on Thursday, 26 October 2017
A statement released by the IJF said: “The International Judo Federation’s Executive Committee decided to suspend both the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix until governmental guarantee is given to ensure free and equal participation of all nations at the said events.”
The Jewish News points out that the IJF did not mention Israel specifically but the statement referred to “past situations involving the denial of participation in equal conditions of all IJF member federations – with their national insignia and anthem at the aforementioned events,” a clear reference to Israeli athletes.
WATCH: When Israeli judoka Tal Flicker won a gold medal at the Judo Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, anti-Israel haters refused to display the Israeli flag or play the Israeli national anthem. This is his message to the world.Sports are meant to bring people together, not to promote hate. Join more than 100,000 people in the fight against hate of Jews and Israel at PeaceNotHate.com
Posted by The Israel Project on Thursday, 26 October 2017
The full statement by the IJF reads:
“The International Judo Federation is committed to promoting the moral principles and values of Judo, Olympism and sport in general, thus making an active contribution to the promotion of peace and equality between nations, races and genders.
The IJF Statutes reflect this approach in article 1. 2: “IJF shall not discriminate on the ground of race, religion, gender or political opinion”. Based on experiences from previous years and in an attempt to take a firm and constructive stance in the fight against discrimination in sport, the International Judo Federation announces that it will suspend two of its events, namely the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix.
Prior to this decision and after carefully analysing the past situations involving the denial of participation in equal conditions of all IJF member federations – with their national insignia and anthem at the aforementioned events, and after repeated past interventions, the IJF officially requested the two organisers to provide a letter of guarantee signed by the government that all IJF member nations would have the right to participate in their events in equal conditions.
The International Judo Federation is aware that the situation and incidents registered are due to a complex and complicated political and historical context, but we strongly believe that politics should not have any interference in sports and that sports should be a reflection of human respect, understanding and mutual cooperation and that sports, as one of the highest expressions of humanity, should have the power to overcome any other conflict or interest.
As no positive answer was received to date, although past the given deadline, the International Judo Federation’s Executive Committee decided to suspend both the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix until governmental guarantee is given to ensure free and equal participation of all nations at the said events.
The IJF regrets the inconvenience caused to any of its members, athletes and coaches, partners and media and we hope to be able to restore the situation at the earliest, and ensure the best possible outcome in the given the circumstances.”