The president of the Iraqi Tennis Federation Majid Al-Ugaili has announced the withdrawal of Iraqi tennis players from facing Israeli opponents in the Romanian Grand Prix Tournament.
He said that the two-member team of Iraqi tennis players, consisting of Nasr Mahdi and Mohammad Al-Mahdi, was set to play against the Israeli team in the first round of the competition.
However, they refused to face them in this series of championship competitions of the Bucharest Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament 2022, which will continue until August 18, he added.
This is not the first time that athletes refuse to compete with Israeli opponents because of the Israeli regime’s inhumane policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Not long ago, an Algerian football player Ahmed Touba refused to accompany his team, İstanbul Başakşehir, to the occupied territories to play with the Israeli team Maccabi Netanya FC in a European competition.
Last month, Maysir al-Dahamsheh, the star player of the Jordanian national taekwondo team, avoided confrontation with a rival from the Zionist regime in the Cadet and Junior World Championships 2022 hosted by Bulgaria.
The Jordanian taekwondo practitioner failed to bag the bronze medal of the tournament after withdrawing from the competition in protest against the normalization of relations of some Arab countries with the Tel Aviv regime.
In a similar move, Jordanian national fencing player Eyas al-Zamer withdrew from facing an Israeli opponent in a world championship for juniors held in the Emirati city of Dubai.
In recent years, an increasing number of athletes from Arab and Muslim countries have avoided facing Israeli opponents in international competitions in support of the Palestinian cause.
They view the participation of Israeli athletes in sports events as a scheme to help the Tel Aviv regime gradually normalize its relations with Muslim and Arab nations despite its brutal occupation of Palestine and its relentless crimes against Palestinians.