The European Judo Union has crossed sports boundaries to comment on a decisive tackle in yesterday’s Champions League final between football clubs Real Madrid and Liverpool, which forced talismanic Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah off the pitch with a serious shoulder injury.
The incident occurred in the first half of the Kiev final, when Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos entered a 50-50 challenge with the Egyptian. The players collapsed as they tussled for the ball, but Salah’s arm was locked in Ramos’, forcing him into the ground at an awkward angle.
Salah, Liverpool’s breakout player for the season, was ultimately forced to leave the field. Real Madrid eventually won 3-1, claiming their third consecutive Champions League trophy.
Since the moment of the tackle, Liverpool fans have claimed Ramos intentionally locked his arm to bring down Salah.
Here’s that Salah challenge again. If you think that was accidental you haven’t seen Ramos play before. He tried to break his arm. Changed the game.
— Gregarious (@lfcgregarious) May 26, 2018
It is believed Salah sustained shoulder ligament injuries in the tackle, and is unlikely to have fully recovered for Egypt’s opening World Cup match against Uruguay next month – their first World Cup match in 28 years.
Ramos has issued a statement expressing his well wishes to Salah, and pundits from across the football landscape have provided differing views on the tackle’s alleged intentionality.
But the European Judo Union has voiced its severe disapproval of the tackle, likening the tackle to the waki-gatame manoeuvre – which is banned in the sport when used in transition from a standing position to the ground, due to its ability to severely injure opponents.
The Union’s official Twitter account posted an image suggesting Ramos used the “forbidden arm-lock technique” to bring down Salah.
Waki-gatame is a dangerous technique. That's why it is not allowed in Judo to use for transition to ne-waza. What do you think about this foul yesterday evening in the #UCLFinal between #RMALIV? pic.twitter.com/mHmADyG7LB
— European Judo Union (@europeanjudo) May 27, 2018
The post is unlikely to comfort Liverpool fans, but it does suggest that sporting experts outside of football have a dim view of the calamitous tackle.Image: Efrem Lukatsky / AAP Photos