Israeli soccer fans on Wednesday found their country was not on the list of FIFA, an international governing body of association football or soccer, member states ahead of the World Cup competition, due to take place in Qatar later this year. The list, however, includes “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
The omission relates specifically to the page on the FIFA site that offers travel packages to Qatar for the event, sold exclusively through the company called “Winterkill Hospitality”.
The sales agent appears to be Qatari and was given exclusive rights given by FIFA to offer optional packages and vendors.
Israel is absent from Middle Eastern countries where tickets can be bought, and fans are directed to Occupied Palestinian Territories, instead.
“This is a disgrace,” an Israeli man said. “Qatar was chosen as the host of the games and must include all member states and allow fans from all over the world,” he said.
Israel announced last June that Israelis will be able to attend the games. The agreement, which came after months of talks with FIFA, was announced by then-Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
“A political achievement that fulfills the hearts of fans! After hard work alongside [Defense Minister Benny Gantz] and [Culture and Sports Minister Hili Tropper], this welcomed agreement has ripened and Israelis will be able to fly out to watch the World Cup in Qatar,” Lapid wrote in a post on social media then.