Marzouk Ali, vice president of the Egyptian Judo Federation who led the Egyptian delegation in the Japan world competition this week, on Thursday explained why his player Mohamed Abdel Aal refused to shake hands with the Israeli who beat him, Sagi Muki, in a semi-final match, saying: “The judge was not fair, in that he should have disqualified Muki. Since he was not disqualified – the Egyptian player left without shaking his hand.”
Ali did not explain why Sagi Muki, who went on to win the gold medal, deserved to be disqualified.
This is not the first time an Egyptian judoka refuses to shake the hand of an Israeli rival who had defeated him. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, judoka Islam El Shehaby was thrown twice and lost to Israeli Or Sasson, who later won a bronze medal in the competition. After the match, El Shehaby refused to shake hands with his opponent, after the Israeli winner had bowed to him. As a result of this major breach of judo etiquette, the Egyptian was loudly booed and jeered by the crowd.
After his defeat, El Shehaby lay flat on his back for a moment before standing to take his place in front of Sasson, in front of the referee. When Sasson extended his hand to the Egyptian, El Shehaby backed away, shaking his head and shunning Sasson. The referee then called El Shehaby back to the mat and demanded that he bow, at which point El Shehaby gave a quick nod of his head. El Shehaby’s conduct was widely condemned as unsportsmanlike.