Egyptian Foreign Ministry: Politics should not be involved in sports

"The refusal of the Egyptian to [Muki's] handshake is nothing but an insult to Egypt's reputation in world sports."

By ALON EINHORN
August 29, 2019 14:59
2 minute read.
 Israel's Sagi Muki and Belgium's Matthias Casse compete

Israel's Sagi Muki and Belgium's Matthias Casse compete. (photo credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON)

In the semi-finals on his way to becoming a judo world champion, Sagi Muki encountered Egyptian judoka Mohamed Abdelaal, who refused to shake Muki's hand at the end of the match.

On Thursday, Vice President of the Egyptian Judo Federation Marzouk Ali commented on the incident, saying that "The loss of judoka Mohammed Abdelaal to the judoka of Israel in the semi-finals was arbitrary injustice."

"The Israeli judoka deserved to be sent off, which did not happen, leading the Egyptian athlete not to shake his hand at the end of the match," Ali claimed.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry was quick to counter Ali's statement, as well as the Iranian judoka's Saeid Mollaei, who was expected not to show up to a match against Muki in case they would happen to compete, saying that, "politics should not be involved in sports."

The Israeli embassy in Cairo published on their Twitter page that, "After forty years of peace and countless handshakes, Israeli judo player Sagi Moki approached Egyptian player Mohamed Abdelaal after defeating him in the semi-finals of the World Judo Championship with a sporting spirit," along with the photo of the Abdelaal walking away from Muki's handshake.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman to the Arab media Ofir Gendelman also commented on the event on his Twitter page, saying that: "there is peace between the two countries. The refusal of the Egyptian to [Muki's] handshake is nothing but an insult to Egypt's reputation in world sports."

Gendelman later tweeted again, claiming that the Egyptian's refusal to the handshake is racism, and shared the video of Muki singing the national anthem on the podium, labeling the video as "the best response."


Meanwhile, head of the Israeli Judo Federation Moshe Ponte commented on the Iranian judoka's performance in the tournament, claiming he lost the semi-finals on purpose to avoid meeting Muki in the finals, assuming that he received death threats to himself and his family if he were to face Muki, he told Army Radio on Thursday.


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