Saudi Citizen to compete with an Israeli in Tokyo 2020
Saudi Arabia forced its citizen, Tahani Alqahtani, to compete with her Israeli competitor, Raz Hershko, in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The minister of sports, Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud, called the Saudi squad and asked them not to withdraw.
Furthermore, according to sources, he encouraged Alqahtani to face Raz in Women +78 kg Elimination Round.
The draw of Women +78 kg Elimination Round had placed Alqahtani to compete against Raz.
Moreover, The sources added, the minister of sports asked the squad to ignore any criticism about the match promoting normalization.
The minister tried to justify this in the phone call over and over. He assured that Saudi Arabia seeks to bring peace to the region.
The call caused great resentment among the Saudi squad participating in the Olympics, according to the sources.
However, after the draw, thousands of Arabs started tweeting on social media.
They demanded the Saudi citizen, Alqahtani, to immediately follow the steps of Fethi Nourine. He withdrew from the competition against his Israeli competitor to support the Palestinian issue.
They wondered about the secret behind the decision of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to draw Arab players against Israeli players.
In fact, some observers pointed out that the committee is intentionally engaging Arab players against Israelis to promote normalization.