Iranian Judoka Saeid Mollaei seeks asylum in Germany

The previous world champion is under heavy suspicion that he deliberately lost so as not to fight Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
August 31, 2019 06:09
Judo - World Judo Championships - Men's Under 81 kg - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan - August 28, 2019

Judo - World Judo Championships - Men's Under 81 kg - Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan - August 28, 2019 - Israel's Sagi Muki and Kyrgyzstan's Vladimir Zoloev compete. (photo credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON)

Iranian Judoka and previous world champion Saeid Mollaei is in Germany, and has requested asylum for fear of returning to the Islamic Republic, French site RMC Sport reported on Friday. 
 
Head of the International Judo Federation  (IJF) Marius Vizer told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that Mollaei feared he and his family would be subjected to violence by the Iranian state if he faced Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki, who went on to win the world championship on Wednesday in Tokyo.

It is now suspected that to avoid this situation, Mollaei ended up losing on purpose to Belgian Judoka Matthias Casse. 
 
The IJF is offering Mollaei protection, and Vizer expressed his hopes that the Iranian judoka will compete in the 2020 Games as a refugee athlete. 
The Olympic Refugee team was established in 2015 and included judokas from the Congo – Popole Misenga and Yolande Bukasa Mabika – in the 2016 games. 
 
In interviews given after he won the world title, Muki refused to speak of Mollaei’s situation and praised him as an outstanding human being and a top athlete.  




  
  



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