Saeid Mollaei gets Mongolian passport
Saeid Mollaei is going to fight for Mongolia at the Masters in Qingdao. Mollaei visited the President of Mongolia, the former Judo Association President Khaltmaagiin Battulga who handed out the passport to the 2018 World Champion who fled from Iran and was promised a German citizenship recently. In Qingdao Mollaei was supposed to fight under the International Refugee Team. However at the website of the IJF you already see him in the team of Mongolia to confirm the transfer of the year.
Mollaei who is still ranked World Number three, should normally lose his points once switching to another country. In the ranking he is linked to IRT, the international Refugee Team. In his category U81kg the first Mongolian fighter is Otgonbaatar Uuganbaatar at place 17 and Nyamsuren Dagvasuren is ranked 27th. It is a remarkable move made possible by the powers of the Mongolian President himself.
Mongolia have lost a few athletes to Azerbaijan and was about to lose three Mongolian athletes including Nyamsuren Dagvasuren to the UAE in 2018, but that transfer was cancelled. Mongolia have won consecutive Olympic medals since 2004 and with a judoka as its president, that ambition can become only stronger. With Mollaei Mongolia have a serious ace to continue the streak.
The SOR 184.108.40.206. reads the following:
Athletes with an official refugee status Judoka with an official refugee status, hosted by a country, can qualify themselves for IJF or continental union competitions through their host country national championships and consequently they will compete internationally under their host country flag. The National federation requests must be sent, with the official refugee status documents, to the IJF General Secretariat. If the documents sent are compliant, the agreement will be automatically given by the IJF General Secretary following confirmation by the IJF President. If there is a change in the status of the official refugee i.e. citizenship of a new country, return to their country of origin etc. The nationality change process must be followed. For events organised by the IJF or under its auspices, the IJF Executive Committee can authorise that judoka with an official refugee status can compete under the IJF flag. If there is a change in the status of the official refugee who competed under the IJF flag i.e. citizenship of a new country, return to their country of origin etc. the IJF Executive Committee would make a decision concerning the change of nationality and the world ranking points that the athlete has.
The Presidential office of Mongolia confirmed the Mongolian citizenship on Monday morning. Saeid Mollaei is no longer part of the IJF refugee team and is expected to compete at the December Qingdao Masters under the Mongolian flag, as well as during the upcoming World Judo Tour events, in order to qualify for the Olympic Games.