Egyptian judoka Ramadan Darwish refused to shake the hand of Israeli rival Arik Zeevi after the Egyptian defeated him in the quarterfinals of the Judo Grand Prix in Dusseldorf, Germany, prompting an Egyptian website to dub him a “national hero” and an Israeli sportscaster to call him not “sportsmanlike.”
According to the Israeli athlete, “He also yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ when the fight ended.”
Israel’s Ynet News reports on the fallout since Sunday’s match:
Egyptian news websites published a number of reports on the incident with a link to a video of the bout. “Darwish is a national hero,” one website declared, adding “Israel is a terrorist nation.”
Some of the talkbackers also lauded the Egyptian judoka for snubbing his Israeli rival. “Darwish, we love you for what you did,” “Egypt wins again,” and “There is no peace after what Israel did” were some of the responses posted online. Other talkbackers criticized Darwish for agreeing to fight Zeevi in the first place.
Darwish eventually finished third in the under-100-kg weight class of the prestigious tournament.
Zeevi told Ynet:
“The Egyptian’s behavior only intensified my disappointment. He also yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ when the fight ended. His disgraceful behavior makes me regret the loss even more.”
An Israeli sportscaster covering the match said in Hebrew (video below), “Not nice. Even when the Egyptian wins, he doesn’t know how to be sportsmanlike. Simply shameful. Shameful.”
This isn’t the first time the two athletes have met on the mat. In May, the Israeli won the gold medal – but no Egyptian handshake – in the Moscow Grand Prix. JTA reported then:
Egyptian competitor Ramadan Darwish refused to shake Zeevi’s hand after his defeat Sunday in the quarterfinals despite an order by the referee. After repeated requests, Darwish returned to execute the traditional bow, which he did toward the referee.
Ynet reports that the Israel Judo Association has sent a letter of complaint to the International Judo Federation.
Watch the match in the video below. Darwish in white snubs his Israeli rival at 7:20. It’s not possible to hear Darwish saying “Allahu Akbar” as the Israeli athlete reported, but Darwish is seen after hugging his coach at 7:40 bowing on the floor in Muslim prayer.
(H/T: Ynet News)