The Islamic monarchy of Qatar is yet to confirm Israeli football fans will be welcomed into the country for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Israel does not feature in Qatar’s online list of 244 nationalities and territories eligible for a visa. The country does not recognise the Jewish state.
A damning new report exposes discrimination by Qatar’s Islamist regime targeting Israelis, Egyptians and gay people ahead of the biggest gathering on the global soccer calendar.
It raises questions about whether the country can comply with the Code of Ethics of FIFA, the international soccer association that governs the world’s most popular single-event sporting competition, held every four years.
Cornerstone Global Associates, a prominent British consulting company, noted in its 12-page report, “FIFA World Cup 2022: Reputational risk and sponsorship,” that:
As of June, 2019, Israeli citizens are unable to apply for visas to visit Qatar. The Qatari official website does not list Israel as a country where visas can be applied for, let alone visa-free entry.
According to the report, Akbar al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, said in May that Qatar would not issue visas to “its enemies.”
The report also urges Qatar to provide visa information to Israeli visitors seeking to enter the country during the tournament.
Gas-rich Qatar has pledged to welcome Israeli fans and provide kosher food to observant Jews, it has yet to issue clear travel guidance, it said.
The report also points out that banning fans on the basis of nationality is a breach of FIFA’s code of ethics, which was adopted last year.
Qatar has previously faced scrutiny over its anti-homosexuality laws and reports of poor working conditions on construction sites.
It beat the long-favored United States 14-8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup.