News : Iran's judo world champion applies for asylum in Germany

News :

Iran's judo world champion applies for asylum in Germany

The Iranian judo world champion Saeid Mollaei has apparently applied for asylum in Germany after fleeing to Berlin. This was announced by Marius Vizer, president of Judo World Federation IJF, of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun on the sidelines of the World Championships in Tokyo.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior refused a comment on request of the French news agency AFP.

As Mollaei, who had won the 2018 World Cup in the class to 81 kg of gold, reported that he had been forced in Tokyo by his association to deliberately lose in the semifinals against the Belgian Matthias Casse, in a possible final against the Israeli Sagi Muki to compete. Both countries are politically hostile.

"But there are other options"

Vizer stood behind the athletes and offered him the opportunity to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "It is our job to protect the athletes, that's very clear," said the Austrian, who led the IJF since 2007. Vizer will campaign for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow Mollaei to join the refugee team.

"But there are other options," said Vizer, announcing an official statement for Monday, "we'll do everything we can to help the athlete continue his career." The World Federation will also next week investigate the extent to which Mollaei and his family living in Teheran have been politically threatened.

Then one will also decide whether the Iranian Judo Association will be sanctioned. "We have rules, everything has to be done in accordance with the statutes of the International Federation and with the Olympic Charter," said Vizer. Some countries have different rules, which they could apply in their countries, "but not at an international sporting event," Vizer said.

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