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UAE permits Israel to display flag, sing anthem at Judo Grand Slam championship

The International Judo Federation had canceled competitions in Tunisia and Abu Dhabi after they had discriminated against Israeli judokas.

Israel's Sagi Muki (second from left) receives the gold medal on the podium after winning in the men's under 81-kg weight category during the European Judo Championship in Tel Aviv on April 27, 2018. Photo by Roy Alima/Flash90.
Israel's Sagi Muki (second from left) receives the gold medal on the podium after winning in the men's under 81-kg weight category during the European Judo Championship in Tel Aviv on April 27, 2018. Photo by Roy Alima/Flash90.

Israel will be allowed to compete at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam competition in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi, complete with flag and national anthem during medal ceremonies.

The federation had canceled competitions in Tunisia and Abu Dhabi after those locations had discriminated against Israeli judokas.

“The historic decision will allow all nations, including Israel, to be accompanied by their national symbols and anthem,” said the IJF in an official statement.

“The IJF salutes the efforts of the UAE for taking a major step toward promoting peaceful relations between all countries of the world. The UAE, along with our partners, remains committed to the struggle against all discrimination in sports, which should be used as a tool for reconciliation and promotion of peace in the world,” read the statement.

In 2017, Israel’s Tal Flicker won the gold medal at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, but the country refused to raise Israel’s flag or play Israel’s national anthem, which Flicker sung on the podium by himself.

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