The Lebanese judo team forced International Olympic Committee officials to erect a barrier between themselves and the Israeli judo squad, Friday afternoon in London, just hours before the Games’ opening ceremony, reports Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.
Both teams were scheduled to train inside London’s ExCeL center but Lebanon’s team did not want to be seen by the Israeli one, and IOC officials heeded the Lebanese demand after the team’s coach demanded separation.
This is not the first time Middle Eastern judo teams have caused a political stir. In February, Egypt’s Ramadan Dawris defeated Arik Zeevi of Israel, but afterwards, Dawris refused to shake the hand of his competitor.
The opening ceremony will air on NBC at 7:30 pm ET.