Members the Algerian Olympic Committee (COA) have rejected its president’s resignation today, despite his controversial salute when the Israeli national anthem was played during a judo tournament in Paris earlier this month. When Mustapha Berraf was caught on a video released by Numidia, standing and saluting the anthem, it sparked widespread outrage in Algeria.
The North African state does not recognise Israel, nor does it have any official diplomatic relations with the Zionist state. Algeria usually withdraws from all international competitions in which Israeli representatives are present.
“I have submitted my resignation to the COA Executive Committee,” Berraf told TSA media on Tuesday evening. This was, he insisted, an “irreversible” decision. The committee, however, rejected his resignation.
“After having taken note of the president’s decision to resign, the Executive Committee unanimously rejected the move and asked him to continue his mission, so as not to disturb the smooth running of our national authority and the preparation of our athletes for the 2020 Olympics,” said the COA in a press release today. The organisation affirmed its “total support” for Berraf.
According to TSA, Berraf refused to state the reasons for his resignation, but expressed his distress following the “insults” hurled at him and his family on social media after the video of him apparently saluting the Israeli anthem went viral. He claims that the video is a montage and does not reflect what happened.