Saudi judoka forfeits match to avoid facing an Israeli rival in Rio

  • A Saudi judoka was accused of forfeiting a match to avoid a face-off with an Israeli competitor
  • The Saudi Arabian athlete did not show up after her team claimed she was injured in training
  • However, Israeli media said it was a deliberate act on Saudi’s part

A female Saudi Arabian judo athlete in Rio Olympics allegedly did not show up in a match that could potentially land her in a match with an Israeli competitor.

According to The Times of Israel, Saudi judoka Joud Fahmy was scheduled to meet Christianne Legentil from Mauritius on Sunday but failed to show up, claiming injury.

The winner of the match would have advanced to the next round and face Israeli fighter Gili Cohen.

But Fahmy’s trainer claimed she sustained injuries to her arm and leg during training and could not make it to the match upon the advice of the medical staff.

However, Israeli media accused the Saudi team of ordering the 22-year-old Fahmy to deliberately skip the match to avoid a face-off with 25-year-old Cohen who eventually lost to Legentil.

Saudi Arabia are known to despise Israel and the two nations have no official and diplomatic relations. The Islamic kingdom does not issue visas for Israeli and its citizens are not allowed to travel to the Jewish country.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, the Lebanon Olympic Committee was summoned by the Rio Olympics organizers last Friday, August 3, to explain an incident where the former’s delegation refused to share a bus with the Israeli athletes before the opening ceremony.

The Lebanese team were reportedly advised not to repeat the same action.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese official claimed what happened was simply a misunderstanding and that politics had nothing to do with it.