Iran KO’d for Anti-Israel Stance

Stand for Israel  |  October 22, 2019

World Judo Championships - Day 4
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 28: Luka Maisuradze (white) of Georgia and Saeid Mollaei (blue) of Iran compete in the Men's -81kg bronze medal bout on day four of the World Judo Championships at the Nippon Budokan on August 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

For too long now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has voiced its anti-Israel hatred and its hopes that the Jewish state will be permanently destroyed. But for all this tough talk, Iranian athletic officials too often take the coward’s way out — not allowing their athletes to compete against Israeli opponents. This tactic of avoidance went too far this time, The Times of Israel reports, as Iran has been banned from international judo competitions after forcing one of its own to lose, lest he have to face off against an Israeli:

The International Judo Federation (IJF) said Tuesday it had banned Iran from competition indefinitely over the country’s refusal to face Israeli competitors.

The federation issued a provisional ban last month while investigating a report that Iran had ordered a judoka to lose deliberately at the world championships to avoid facing Israeli competitor Sagi Muki in the subsequent round.

“Following the events, which occurred during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the final suspension of the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions… has been pronounced,” the IJF said in a statement

Iranian fighter Saeid Mollaei, defending his title at the Tokyo World Championships in August, had said he was ordered to throw his semifinal rather than risk facing an Israeli in the final of the under 81kg class…

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