Israelis are not able to book hospitality packages for the FIFA World cup, to be held in Qatar in November and December 2022, in breach of FIFA’s own anti-discriminatory rules.
On the FIFA website prospective purchasers of hospitality packages are invited to find appointed sales agents in their region. In the Asia and the Middle East region purchasers then select their country. Israel does not appear in the drop down menu although Palestine does appear, and the organisation Winterhill Hospitality is listed as the Exclusive Sales Agent (Palestine).
This omission of Israel from the list of countries where people may purchase hospitality packages is a blow to Israeli football fans, who believed that theywould be able to attend the games. A political agreement was reached last June which allowed Israelis to travel to Qatar to attend football matches from November 21 to December 18, 2022, despite Doha not having diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
UKLFI has written to FIFA pointing out that omitting Israel from the list of countries who are able to purchase hospitality packages is a breach of FIFA’s Code of Ethics and FIFA’s Disciplinary Code which state that persons bound by these Codes “shall not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions on account of race, skin colour, ethnicity, nationality etc…..”
FIFA’s Statutes also contain a non-discrimination, equality and neutrality clause which says that “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
It is discriminatory not to allow Israelis to purchase hospitality packages, and in breach of FIFA’s Code of Ethics, Disciplinary Code and Statutes.
UKLFI has requested that FIFA ensure, as a matter of urgency that there is an agent on its official list who will sell hospitality packages to Israelis.
Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI commented: “FIFA needs to ensure that Israeli football fans are not discriminated against and are able to purchase hospitality packages for the FIFA World Cup. We hope that they will act quickly to rectify this situation.”