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Egyptian athelete refuses to shake hand with his Israeli opponent, creates uproar


Rio De Janeiro: There was an uproar caused by the Egypt’s Judo athlete, he refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent after their match, he says he respects the sport and did not break any rules by ignoring his rival.

According to the news published in the Alarabiya English, After the Israeli Judoka defeated El-Shehaby in the first round of heavyweight Judo tournament on Friday, when the Israeli Judoka bowed and approached to shake hands with him, the Egyptian backed away.

Shehaby ignored the referee’s call to bow and gave a quick nod before walking off amid loud jeers from the crowd and explained that refusing to shake his opponent’s hand did not amount to break the rules.
L’Esprit du Judo cited him as saying ““Shaking the hand of your opponent is not an obligation written in the Judo rules. It happens between friends and he’s not my friend,” he also said “I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this State, especially in front of the whole world.”

Although Egypt was the Arab power to make peace with Israel in 1979, but it seems the treaty remains unpopular among many Egyptians.

After the following incident, the International Olympic Committee opened a disciplinary commission saying that “the Olympic spirit should be about building bridges, never about erecting walls.”
International Judo Federation stated that judokas are not obligated to shake hands – only to bow. But according to Reuters, the federation said it would look into whether any action should be taken.

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