Egyptian judo fighter refuses to shake hands with Israeli opponent after match

An Egyptian judo fighter, Islam El Shehaby, refused to shake hands with his opponent, Or Sassos, an Israeli national, after their match.

El Shehaby was pressured not to go ahead with the bout but decided to compete in today’s match after discussion with his team.

He said before the fight that he was considering completely pulling out of the contest, saying: “The situation is very sensitive. And I don’t want to discuss it.”

Judo fighters are not obligated to shake hands post-match but to bow at the end of the match is mandatory.

El Shehaby refused to bow and was called back by the referee who obliged him to bow to which he gave a quick nod of his head.

He refused to comment afterwards.

The International Judo Federation said that athletes are not obligated to shake hands post-match and even congratulated the pair for going ahead with the bout.

Spokesman Nicolas Messner said: “This is already a big improvement that Arabic countries accept to (fight) Israel.”

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