Swimmer ‘betrayed Algeria’ by competing against Israel

Algerian political bodies have rejected the participation of an Algerian swimmer in an international race against an Israeli athlete.

Political party, the Movement of Society for Peace said in a statement that it “had followed with great displeasure the participation of Algerian swimmer Abdullah Ardjoun in the 23rd edition of COMEN cup, which is taking place in the Maltese capital, Valat.”

“The Movement deplores this abhorrent behaviour and considers it a retreat from the Algerian attitude and firm policies towards the Palestinian cause and a betrayal of the national commitments which we have inherited from the martyrs, the Mujahideen and the great national political leaders,” the statement added.

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Algeria has no formal or commercial relations with Israel.

In 2004, Algerian Judo wrestler Omar Marija sparked controversy in the country after facing an Israeli athlete at the Athens Olympics. Since then, international sports competitions have witnessed the withdrawal of a number of Algerian athletes who are due to face Israeli sportsmen.

There was no official response from the sporting authorities or the Algerian Swimming Federation on the party’s statement.