(ATR) The International Judo Federation adopts new rule to make it easier for refugee athletes to compete in exile.
Marcus Nyman and Krisztian Toth competing during the Dusseldorf Judo Grand Prix in Germany. (Getty Images)
The IJF calls this a historic step that other international federations should adopt. The federation says this also continues the tradition of judo connecting people and cultures.
The IJF says this project was also recognized by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee for promoting Olympic ideals of peace and unity.
The new rule puts into effect standards that enable junior level judoka to participate in events to qualify for international competitions.
These standards include:
• To prove their residency in the host country (at least 1 year),
• To prove the integration of their parents in the host country (at least 1 year),
• To prove their integration in the school or university system (at least 1 year),
• To prove their integration in a judo club of the host country, duly affiliated to the National Federation which is an IJF member.
The IJF says it follows a non-discriminatory policy and that the new rule is meant to protect all judoka. The IJF says it learns from its Judo in Schools program, that many exiled judoka did not have the opportunity to participate in international events.
After the request is reviewed and approved by the national federation, the young judoka will compete under their host country flag.
Written by Greer Wilson.
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