Islam El Shehaby booed after failing to shake Or Sasson’s hand

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An Egyptian judoka was booed loudly following his refusal to shake hands with his Israeli opponent after suffering defeat in the opening round of the Rio Olympic Games.

Islam El Shehaby was jeered by the crowd for his post-fight reaction which clearly irritated Or Sasson.

Failure to shake hands with an opponent after a fight is considered a major breach of judo etiquette. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).


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It is imperative that judo players bow or shake hands at the beginning and end of every match.

But even those watching the sport for the first time were amazed by the lack of respect El Shehaby showed Or Sasson.

Video: El Shehaby refuses to shake Or Sasson’s hand

El Shehaby was under a lot of pressure

The Daily Mail claim that El Shehaby had come under pressure prior to the fight from “Islamist-leaning and nationalist voices” in Egypt to withdraw from the games.

One follower on Twitter was even quoted as saying: “You will shame Islam. If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself.

“We don't want to think what will happen if you lost to an Israeli. Victory will give you nothing. How can you cooperate with a murderous nation?”

He was also urged to pull out by TV host Mataz Matar.

“My son watch out, don't be fooled, or fool yourself thinking you will play with the Israeli athlete to defeat him and make Egypt happy,” Matar said.

“Egypt will cry; Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people.”

It’s clear, then, that he was already under considerable pressure heading into the fight.

That he lost it may have prompted his decision not to accept the handshake.

International Judo Federation spokesman Nicolas Messner isn’t too concerned about the lack of a handshake on this occasion.

“This is already a big improvement that Arabic countries accept to (fight) Israel,” he commented.

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