Kuwaiti fencer praised for snubbing Israeli opponent

Arabs praise Muhammad Ali Alfadhli for skipping match; incident was second athletic slight in one week.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Politics and sports mixed at the Junior World Fencing Championships in Dubai on Wednesday when Kuwaiti fencer Muhammad Ali Alfadhli failed to show up for a match against Israel’s Eitan Lemberger, Israel Hayom reported.

Although Alfadhli ostensibly failed to show up because of an injury, Arab media reports said the 20-year-old pulled out of the tournament after learning he would be competing with an Israeli in the semifinals.

On numerous occasions, Arab athletes faked injuries to avoid competing against an Israeli.

Alfadhli was praised on social media for “opposing Arab countries’ normalization with the Israeli occupation” and “supporting the Palestinian cause.”

The 14-year-old Lemberger advanced to the next round by default and finished the tournament in 18th place.

Israel Hayom also noted that Israeli judoka Li Kochman faced a similar snub when Lebanese opponent Safaifov Kramanov didn’t show up for a match at the Antalya Grand Slam in Turkey on Sunday. Kochman, 26, advanced and went on to finish the tournament in seventh place in the -90 kg category.