FIFA World Cup site lists ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories,’ not Israel

Israel is the only country not listed, despite Qatar’s obligations as host country to refrain from discriminatory policies. 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

International soccer governing body FIFA has once again come under fire for failing to include Israel in its ticket sales for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, instead listing the “Occupied Palestinian territories.”

Israel is the only country not listed for travel packages procured through FIFA’s exclusive agent, the Qatar-based Winterkill Hospitality.

One Israeli soccer fan hoping to buy a ticket called it a “disgrace.”

“Qatar was chosen as the host of the games and must include all member states and allow fans from all over the world,” the Ynet news site quoted him as saying.

Under contractual obligation with FIFA, Qatar will allow entry to Israelis attending the world cup, even though Israeli passport holders are not generally permitted to enter the Gulf nation. Fan IDs that are provided for ticket holders will serve as entry visas into the country.

Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for the Qatar World Cup, said in 2019 that “everyone is welcome.”

“We do not mix sport and politics, but we would hope that Palestinians are able to make it too,” al-Thawadi said.

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A report earlier that year by prominent British consulting firm Cornerstone Global Associates questioned Qatar’s ability to abide by FIFA’s Code of Ethics that forbids any discriminatory actions.

Israel announced a month later that it had purchased the rights to broadcast World Cup to its Arab neighbors, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, for free.

Last year, FIFA head Gianni Infantino floated the notion of Israel and the United Arab Emirates in a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

FIFA has come under fire in the past over its former Palestinian head, Jibril Rajoub, an ex-terrorist who has served time in Israeli jails and routinely glorifies terror and refers to Jews as “Satan.”

The Israel national soccer team only qualified for the World Cup once in 1970 when Mexico hosted, where the team was eliminated in the group stage.