Video: Israeli judo gold medal winner sings national anthem himself after UAE organisers refuse to play it, hoist national flag
Despite winning the gold at the Abu Dhabi judo grand slam, Israeli athlete Tal Flicker had to sing his country’s national anthem, as the local authorities refused to play the anthem of Israel during the medals ceremony.
Not only that, but the local authorities also refused to hoist the Israeli national flag after Flicker won his event.
Relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates have never really been cordial, with a lot of restrictions being imposed on Israeli citizens in the Arab country.
The two communities have had enemity with each other for a very long, long time, and recent political tensions between the Arabs and the Jews have not really helped the cries for peace between the nations.
While the local authorities of the tournament refused to hoist the Israeli flag and play the national anthem of the country, Flicker himself started singing his country’s national anthem, while standing on the podium, in a stiff gesture of defiance.
It is not just Flicker, who had to face such issues during the tournament. FemaleIsraeli judo athlete Gili Cohen, who won the bronze medal at the tournament, also had to face something similar, when her country’s flag was not hoisted above the podium, during the medal’s ceremony.
Instead, the flag of the International Judo Federation was hoisted above the podium.
These kind of actions could turn out to be very serious indeed. Athletes put in a lot of hard work to represent their countries in international tournaments such as this. However, when the athlete does not get to see his or her country’s flag hoisted, or the national anthem played, it can turn out to be a disheartening moment for them.