On February 1, 2022, Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah – Lebanon) aired a report about a visit to southern Lebanon by Arab and Iranian athletes who refused to compete against Israeli athletes in international matches. The athletes were invited to Lebanon by an organization called the International Conference for Honoring Athletes Who Oppose the Normalization and signed their names on a gold medal painted on the border wall between Lebanon and Israel. Tunisian athlete Maysaa Al-Abbasi said that the athletes acted in support of their Palestinian brothers and because they refuse to engage in normalization with the "Zionist entity." Abd Al-Malik Sukariya, the Secretary-General of the International Conference against Normalization, said that the liberation of Palestine and the return of the refugees is only a matter of time. Atallah Hamoud, the Hizbullah MP responsible for relations with the Palestinians, said that the athletes came to the border with Israel to express their solidarity with the "resistance." For more about athletic boycotts of Israel, see MEMRI TV Clips nos. 8660, 7589, 9006, 9017, 6457, 6921, and 7058.
Announcer: "What medal could possibly be more precious than Jerusalem gold? This is the gold medal that was rightly won by athletes and representative of sports unions from nine Arab countries, as well as from the Islamic Republic of Iran. They preferred to withdraw from their International and Olympic matches rather than compete against Zionist athletes, because they consider this to be normalization, which they reject."
Maysaa Al-Abbasi: "This is the position of every athlete who withdrew from the match, and refused to engage in normalization with the Zionist entity. We do this in support of our Palestinian brothers."
Announcer: "They had the honor of signing their names on the Jerusalem gold medal, at the border with occupied Palestine, where the delegation of the athletes visited, having been invited by the International Conference for Honoring Athletes Who Oppose the Normalization. A huge gold medal was painted on the border wall, at Kafr Kila. This wall separates Lebanon from the occupied Palestinian lands. They stood by the wall, raising their fingers and their fists, vowing to adhere to their positions."
Abd Al-Malik Sukariya: "These champions have come here to see with their own eyes that the liberation of Palestine, and the return of all the Palestinian refugees to Palestine in its entirety, is just a matter of time."
Atallah Hamoud: "They have come to Lebanon and to the border with the Zionist enemy to express their solidarity with the resistance."