Middle East

Libya national team pulls out of fencing championship to avoid Israel team

The Libyan national team has refused to face Israeli opponents at the World Fencing Championships in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

The national team was to face Israel according to the official draw, however, the athletes and staff decided to pull out on Sunday from the final competition rather than face the Israeli team.

Libya is currently ranked second in Africa and 19 globally in the classification of the game.

“The national team was to face Israel according to the official draw. However, the athletes and staff decided to pull out of the games rather than face the Israeli opponent,” Libya Observer wrote on its website.

The move comes after Eyas Al-Zamer, a Jordanian fencer, was set to take part in the junior men’s foil contests of the international professional championship for young competitors in the UAE but decided to withdraw, one week after another Kuwaiti fencing player pulled out of the competition for the same reason.

Kuwaiti fencing player Mohammad Al-Fadli refused to face an Israeli opponent in the group stage of the World Fencing Championships. This is not the first time Al-Fadli had withdrawn from an international tournament in support of Palestine. In September 2019, he withdrew from games in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, after the lottery had placed him in a group competing with an Israeli player.

READ: Jordan player refuses to face Israeli opponent fencing contest

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