TEHRAN - Turkish referee Ugur Kobas has said that he and his family have received death threats on social media after he disqualified Saudi Arabian athlete Tareg Hamedi at the karate competition during the Olympic Games.
The referee disqualified Hamedi for an unchecked attack against his Iranian opponent Sajad Ganjzadeh in the men’s +75kg kumite category at the Tokyo Olympics.
After the match, the referee Kobas, his wife and children started to receive death threats on social media.
“We have implemented the rules; the rules were very clear. The athlete fell to the ground due to a blow he received. We have called the doctor, and the local doctor said, ‘He cannot go on.’ Despite that, we have called a second doctor, who said, ‘I do not need to come; the decision of disqualification is a right one.’ And we, in a joint decision, ruled for the Saudi Arabian athlete’s disqualification,” he told Dogan news agency.
“Despite the joint decision, thinking that I have influenced the two doctors and other referees, they have launched a policy of lynching against me and made it about a conflict between two countries. They have shared several posts on my social media accounts. When these posts grew in numbers, I had to close my accounts. When they could not reach me, they have reached my wife and children, and started to threaten them with death,” the referee added.
“I can understand the sadness of the athlete and the country, but it is not right to divert the incident to other issues,” he said.