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Egyptian judoka refuses to face Israeli opponent

Egyptian judoku, Karim Ibrahim Sobhi, 23.

An Egyptian judoka has refused to face an Israeli opponent at the Abu Dhabi World Judo Championships 2024.

Karim Ibrahim Sobhi last week withdrew from the World Judo Championship, announcing his refusal to face his opponent from Israel.

The Egyptian judoka pointed out that it was a new experience for him, and he dreamed of winning “and achieving something in this tournament.”

He said that he informed his coach before deciding to withdraw and noted that he does not regret his decision and that he still has many opportunities in the upcoming tournaments to make up for this decision. 

Sobhi, who is 23, said he was the youngest player in the tournament, and this was his first participation in this global event, indicating that he did not know in advance that he would face an Israeli player in the competition.

The young athlete said he is faced with great challenges in reconciling his academic commitments with the national team’s training, especially during the preparation period for the tournament.

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For decades, athletes from Muslim countries have been refusing to go against Israeli athletes at international matches.

Scores of athletes from Iran, Tunisia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Syria, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman and Iraq have chosen to forfeit the match after they were drawn against an Israeli opponent.

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