Israeli gold medalist goes solo on anthem

Tal Flicker

Israeli judo champion sings Israeli anthem to himself since Abu Dhabi wouldn't play it

In 2015 Israel accepted the conditions for that year's Abu Dhabi tournament, with its judokas wearing uniforms in the colours of the International Judo Federation. But the hosts seemed not to be happy as they refused to play national anthem.

Tal grabbed gold medal for his country in the men's under-66 kilogram category at the Judo Grand-Slam in Abu Dhabi. Around 18 predominately Islamic countries in the Arab League do not recognize the State of Israel.

However's the 25-year-old's act was quick to go viral on social media with internet users praising him. Following the event, Israeli's Channel 2 news quoted Flicker as saying, "Israel is my country, and I'm proud to be Israeli".

Flicker, aware of the U.A.E.'s position, wrote on Facebook ahead of the tournament that "everyone in the world knows where we are from and what country we represent".

'The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise.

Leader of banned neo-Nazi group appears in United Kingdom court
It comes after two serving British Army soldiers and one graduate were charged with belonging to the neo-Nazi group. Anyone who is now a member of the group, or encourages other people to support the group faces 10 years in prison.

It is not the first occasion Israeli delegates have been singled out at worldwide sporting events.

The incident resembled an event that occurred during the 2016 Summer Olympics, when an Egyptian judoka refused to shake the hands of his Israeli opponent after being defeated.

The Israeli flag was not shown even when female athlete Gili Cohen won bronze in her under 52 kg.

A letter from the IJF to the president of the UAE Judo Federation obtained by The Associated Press said 'all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception'.

"The victories of the Israelis at Abu Dhabi are an Israeli poke in Abu Dhabi's eye", Israeli Sports Minister Miri Regev said according to a statement issued by her office.

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