The freakout is divided into two sides: should he withdraw, or should he kick some ass?
News of Egyptian Judo player, Islam el-Shehaby, competing against Israeli Or Sasson, is becoming a source of uproar social media.
The reactions in Egyptian social media ranged from some objecting and demanding his withdrawal, and some challenging this view and asserting that he should go through with it. Those who object believe it is a choice the Egyptian judoka should not even contemplate, because according to them, it is a given that relations with Israel must be avoided, even in international sports arenas. As for those who believe he should go through with it, they are certain that el-Shehaby is strong enough to take the Israeli judoka down – a win that will metaphorically represent Egypt, or the Arab world, challenging and triumphing over Israel.
The ones who are interested in judo as a sport believe that the problem is the fact that, for men's 100+ KG judo, el-Shehaby is ranked 25th, while Sasson is ranked 5th, according to the Judo Base World Ranking.
If el-Shehaby withdraws, Sasson would automatically win the match. Both players are scheduled to play Friday, August 12th, for the 32nd round. Comments over this incident range from - 'dude, withdraw asap' to 'you better kick some ass!' Check it out:
Apparently, playing against an opponent of another country has become a political act. If Islam goes through with it, does that REALLY mean he's acknowledging the state of Israel?
More reactions urging el-Shehaby to withdraw; ''it would be an honour and better for your pride.''
At the end of the day, el-Shehaby is still competing at the Olympics and probably needs all the support he can get.
Main image courtesy of Zimbio