Israelis Allowed to Attend FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Israeli Ministers Confirm
Israeli soccer fans will be able to travel to Qatar to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup in late November despite the two countries having no formal diplomatic relations.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Culture and Sports Minister Hili Tropper made the announcement on Thursday.
Qatar does not normally approve visas for Israeli passport holders and Israelis must typically use foreign passports when traveling to the country. This will be the first time that rule does not apply to Israelis visiting Qatar.
Israel and FIFA reached a deal that says Israeli fans hoping to attend the World Cup must purchase a ticket to the competition and then apply online for a Fan ID card online, which, once approved, grants ticket holders entrance into Qatar and allows them to book accommodations. Israel and Qatar are also reportedly working on arranging direct flights between the two countries for the World Cup, which Israel will not participate in this year.
“Qatar is a country of international importance, which also contributes to maintaining stability in our region and I welcome the important move,” Gantz said in a Hebrew-language Twitter post.
Lapid called the move “a political achievement that fills the hearts of the fans” in a Twitter post.
Some 15,000-30,000 Israelis have already purchased tickets for the FIFA World Cup set to take place from Nov. 21-Dec. 17, Israel Hayom reported last month.