The Lebanese Judo Federation (FLJDA) is suffering as well from the tragic blast in the city. The Judo Federation responds with a message. “We highly appreciate your message of support and sympathy to the Lebanese people during these harsh and trying times.”
“Beirut is suffering from the enormous blast, the death toll is on the rise, and has reached more than 200 so far. More than 5000 people were injured and 300000 reportedly displaced. Judo clubs in the capital have been hit, but thankfully the damages were materialistic and no injuries were reported.”
“The situation is catastrophic for the Lebanese people already suffering from a collapsing economy. We ask you to pray for Lebanon, and we shall keep our hope that Lebanon will rise again,” says François Saade, the President of the Lebanese Judo Federation.
“FLJDA’s Executive Board Member & Head of the Technical Committee, Antoine Asbo, and his brother, our Continental Referee Abdo Asbo, were wounded and lost their houses and belongings. Many other judokas living in Beirut and its suburbs were affected with damages to their properties.”
“The situation is catastrophic for the Lebanese people already suffering from a collapsing economy. We ask you to pray for Lebanon, and we shall keep our hope that Lebanon will rise again!”
Lebanese Judo Federation President Saade was awarded "The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays", with the Japanese embassy in Lebanon in April 2020. He was congratulated by IJF President Marius Vizer. Saade was honoured for his "outstanding contribution of promoting judo in Lebanon and strengthening friendly relations between Japan and Lebanon over many years". Saade was chairman of the Lebanese Federation 1980-1994.
Until the blast judo was growing in Lebanon. Against JudoMagazine Portugal the federation communicated “We have 25 affiliated clubs spread over the whole territory and more than 1,500 officially registered judoka, without counting all those who practise at school and at the University”, explains President Saade.
Lebanese athletes regularly participate in international events. For instance, since 1980, 12 athletes took part in the Olympic Games.
With the support of the IJF Nacif Elias was able to reach the gold medal during the ‘Jeux de la Francophonie’ (French Speaking countries Games). He finished second at the Asian championships, 7th at the world level in 2014 and won several competitions in the Pan American region before winning the bronze medal during the IJF Grand Prix in Mexico.
In advance of the pandemic and with the current bad economic situation the Federation said: “we can’t expose anyone and we have decided for the moment to postpone all our competition until the situation is safe for everyone. We will come back stronger and more united than ever.“