The International Judo Federation is demanding that at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”
The International Judo Federation (IJF) sent a letter to the United Arab Emirates Judo Federation demanding that “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”
The Federation’s intervention came following a request by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) to intervene on behalf of the Israeli judo team competing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam this week.
Abu Dhabi is barring Israel’s judo team from donning national symbols and playing the Jewish state’s national anthem during a major tournament in the country.
Additionally, the 12 Israeli athletes participating in the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam tournament from October 26-28 cannot include the letters “ISR” to identify their nationality on their uniforms.
IJF President Marius Vizer sent a letter to UAE Judo Federation President Mohamed Bin Thalub, notifying him that “the IJF Statutes clearly provide that the ‘IJF shall not discriminate on the ground of race, religion, gender or political opinion’…According to these principles, which are binding for the entire Olympic Movement including of course the IJF and all national federations and other entities involved in the organisation of any judo sports event, there may not be any discrimination of any kind at any event organised by or supervised by the IJF, including of course the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.”
“Therefore, the IJF hereby demands that at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception. IJF further requests that you take all appropriate steps, including if necessary with the public authorities, to comply with IJF’s demand.”
WJC CEO Robert Singer on Monday welcomed the IJF’s “principled and correct stance to intervene in the completely unacceptable discrimination being waged against the Israeli team in Abu Dhabi. The Israeli team, as all other teams, should have every right to display its national flag and emblem, and sound its national anthem if victorious. We urge the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam to comply with the demand of the IJF to treat the Israeli team equally and fairly.”
Abu Dhabi’s anti-Israel conduct is not an isolated incident. Israeli sports teams are routinely subjected to such forms of biased discrimination.
Singer expressed hope that “the IJF’s example serves as a reminder to other world sports federations of their obligation to safeguard the fair and equal treatment of all national teams, and to ensure that the countries privileged to host esteemed international events abide by the same principles.”
Singer spoke with the president of the Israel Judo Association, Moshe Ponti, and updated him on the developments. The two agreed to work together to meet future challenges.
By: World Israel News Staff
(With files from the WJC)