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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 February 2019

UAE judo chief shocked as UAE competitors sent home from Asian Games

Olympic Council of Asia rules that all three members were ineligible, officials said on Saturday.
The judo event at the Asian Games has been hit by controversy. Issei Kato / Reuters
The judo event at the Asian Games has been hit by controversy. Issei Kato / Reuters

INCHEON // Nasser Al Tamimi, the secretary general of the UAE judo federation, expressed his shock after the UAE judo team were barred from the Asian Games after the Olympic Council of Asia ruled that all three members were ineligible.

Mihail Marchitan, Ivan Remarenco and Victor Scvortov were sent home from Incheon by officials because they failed to meet an Asiad three-year residency rule for naturalised citizens.

“We received a letter from the OCA,” Al Tamimi said. “The three got their UAE passports two years ago. We have been told they need to finish the third year to allow them to participate.

“It’s shocking for us because they had prepared well to take part in the Games.”

All are reportedly of Moldovan origin. Scvortov won a bronze medal for the UAE at this year’s world championships and Marchitan has also represented the country international level.

Marchitan, Remarenco and Scvortov were due to start their bid for Asian Games glory on Saturday. The UAE received the OCA’s letter on Friday.

“We had already received official approval for their participation,” Al Tamimi said. “The OCA should have told us before the draw was made, not after.”

The judo chief suggested that the fact different international sporting bodies have different requirements regarding naturalised citizens did not help.

While the OCA asks for three years, football’s governing body Fifa demands five.

sports@thenational.ae

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Updated: September 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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