Iraqi Tennis Players Shun Israeli Opponents to Back Palestinian Cause

12:27 - August 13, 2022
News ID: 3480070
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Two Iraqi tennis players refused to take on Israeli rivals to voice support for the Palestinian cause and reject normalization.


Nasr Mahdi and Muhammad al-Mahdi pulled out of their upcoming doubles match against "the Israeli occupation team" as part of the Bucharest Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament 2022 set to begin Monday, state media site Iraqi News Agency reported.

"The championship matches pitted the Iraqi team against (Israel)…Nasr Mahdi and Muhammad Al-Mahdi, withdrew, refusing to confront the Zionist entity," the head of the Iraqi Tennis Association said.

Opponents of Israel's killings, arbitrary arrests, and home evictions of Palestinians often boycott cultural or sporting events that feature Israelis as a show of solidarity toward Palestinians.

Rights groups including Amnesty International say Israel's oppression of Palestinians amounts to "the crime of apartheid".

Iraq's parliament on 26 May unanimously passed a law criminalising any form of contact or normalisation with Israel.