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Will anything move? The refugee team is still waiting for a visa for the judo tournament in Tel Aviv Israel today


First publication: Ten days before the opening of the Grand Slam, "Israel Hayom" learned that the Population and Immigration Authority has not yet issued the required visa • Members of the delegation, who are uncertain: "They want to convey a message of peace and make history in Israel"

Ten days before the opening of the Tel Aviv Judo Grand Slam, the refugee team still did not receive the visa to take part in the prestigious competition.

Israel Hayom learned that some of the members of the delegation submitted the request for the visa as early as January 14, when the Israeli union forwarded the request to the Ministry of Sports, which is in coordination with the Population and Immigration Authority, where they promised to handle the matter by last Sunday.

So far, the visas have not arrived for the delegation, whose members are in uncertainty, because in a week they are supposed to board the flight they booked to Israel. 

"We want to make history and be the first refugee team to compete in Israel," they told Israel Hayom, "there is a message here that goes far beyond sports - a message of peace, when Iranian and Afghan athletes can also compete in Tel Aviv. We hope to do so, as Saeed did Mulai in recent years."


The model of the refugee team, photo: Oren Aharoni

The team includes the Iranian Mohammad Rashnonzahad (up to 60 kg), who immigrated to the Netherlands in 2017, and the Afghani Nigara Shaheen (63 kg), who is in the program of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Refugee Team and previously took part in the Tokyo Games in the individual competition and the group.

The third athlete is 23-year-old Majid Kaban, who competes in the weight category up to 66 kg. Three years ago, Kaban decided to follow in the footsteps of Said Moulay and left Iran, and today he lives and trains in Scotland and hopes to make it to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

The team is led by the Iranian coach of the women's team, Vahid Sarlak, who played at the last World Championship in Tashkent, and took a picture with the coach of the Israeli women's team, Shani Hershko.

The two conveyed a message of peace.

"The Iranians are friends of Israel and respect Israel," he said at the meeting.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-02-07

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