Israel have been granted visas to compete at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi, due to be held at the end of October, the governing body have stated.
The national team head coach Oren Smadga had posted on Facebook on Monday (October 5) that Israeli athletes had been prevented from attending the event in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) capital city, however the IJF have now said the situation has been resolved.
This was not a new situation for Israel who also had visa difficulties when they were due to compete at the IJF World Masters event earlier this year in Rabat, the capital of Morocco.
However, this matter was also resolved with the support of the Morocco Judo Federation and the team eventually took part.
“Our common interest is to always ensure all the optimal conditions that athletes need in order to perform, avoiding all discriminatory aspects in accordance with the Olympic Charter and the principles of fair-play, peace and friendship between nations,” said Marius Vizer, IJF President in a statement.
“One eloquent example is the integral participation of all National Federations selected and registered to the Masters held this year in Morocco, including the participation of the Israeli delegation, as well as the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam at the end of October 2015, where visas are confirmed for all the participants from all the registered countries, including Israel.
“To date over 900 visa applications for a hundred countries were submitted and are currently being processed by the Judo Federation of the UAE.”
As a result Israel, which isn't recognised as a country by the UAE, are set to compete at the Grand Slam, which forms a crucial part of the qualification process for judokas for the Rio 2016 Olympic tournament, with gold medallists set to add 500 points to their totals as they seek to qualify for the Games.
Meanwhile, athletes who finish in the silver medal position are set to secure 300 points, while bronze medal winners earn 200.
More than 500 judokas are set to compete at the Grand Slam event, which is due to be held from October 30 to November 1.
Vizer also expressed in his statement that the federation have worked with all the organising partners of the World Judo Tour to ensure athletes from all countries are able to compete in its events.
“IJF, together with the local organising partners, have always ensured integrally the logistic conditions for participation of all the athletes to these events, including obtaining a visa for the countries which needed or need this procedure,” he said.
The World Judo Tour includes the World Championships, one Masters, five Grand Slams and 10 Grand Prix events annually.
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