Lebanese judo player Aquilina Al Chayeb was reportedly forced to lose in the Athens Junior European Cup 2022, as reported by LBCI.
After winning the gold medal in the Arab Judo Championship in Jordan recently, the Lebanese judo champion Aquilina Al Chayeb continued to Greece to participate in the European cup, accompanied by the president of the Lebanese Judo Federation, Francois Saade.
Al Chayeb’s first match in the European cup was with Serbian player Kristina Nisavic, whom the Lebanese player had defeated in the Bucharest Cadet European Cup 2021.
The Lebanese Judo Federation reportedly asked Al Chayeb to lose to Nisavic in this round. The reported reason is that, since she represents Lebanon, she can’t compete against the Israeli Judo player in the next round as it will mean a recognition of the state of Israel.
Withdrawing from the match wasn’t an option for her as she could incur the consequences of being penalized by the law of the International Judo Federation (IJF), which includes an international suspension that could end her career.
Reportedly, Al Chayeb had to deliberately lose to her Serbian rival Nisavic to abide by Lebanon’s position against Israel and avoid being penalized by the IJF.
Without declaring the reason behind Al Chayeb’s loss, Francois Saade called it “bad luck” in his FB post announcement.
“Today wasn’t our day in Athens European Cup 2022. It was a great fight but bad luck. Doesn’t matter what happened, we always learn from our mistakes & we never give up. Our plan & program is to fight for our Lebanon to raise our Lebanese flag.”