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Algeria judoka suspended for refusing to face Israeli opponent

September 8, 2021 at 9:15 am

Fethi Nourine, 30 July 2021 [Twitter/@staddoha]

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has banned Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine and his coach from participating in any activities or competitions organised by the body for ten years after he refused to face Israeli Tohar Butbul at Tokyo 2020.

Nourine and his coach, Ammar Benikhlef, told Algerian media that they were boycotting Butbul in support of the Palestinian cause.

At the time, the International Olympic Committee considered Norine’s decision a “violation of the Olympic Charter regulations”.

The ruling takes effect from 23 July 2021.

Nourine and his coach can appeal within 21 days.

After returning to Algeria in July, Nourine told reporters: “My coach and I took the decision together and I am proud of it. This decision honours me first, honours my family, and honours the Algerian people and the Algerian state, because President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared to the world that we do not consent to normalisation, and we support the Palestinian cause.”

READ: Minister: All of Algeria standing against ‘Morocco-Israel’ alliance