Two Israelis, Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan, will not be able to defend their titles at the Youth Sailing World Championship in Malaysia after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) announced they will not send a delegation because of anti-Israel demands made by organizers.
Gili Amir, chairman of the Israel association, said that the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the International Olympic Committee and the hosts will not allow the surfers to compete under the Israeli flag and could not use any symbol affiliated with Israel on their clothing or surfboard. Also, if an Israeli should win a gold medal, the hosts said they would not play the Israeli national anthem.
In addition, they have yet to receive visas to travel for the Sunday competition.
“The Malaysians’ demands are unacceptable, and as we haven’t received the visas, we decided not to participate. We condemn the unsporting conduct of the organizing committee. We will not agree to be humiliated and we are considering filing a lawsuit against the ISAF and the host country in coordination with the Olympic Committee of Israel,” Amir said.
Omer won the gold medal in the Under-19 for men in the last championships and Drihan won for the women in Under-17 and Under-19 competitions.
World Sailing to probe Malaysia’s anti-Israel demands
World Sailing said Sunday it will investigate reports that two Israeli windsurfers and their coach have been refused visas to compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, saying all international sailors should be allowed to compete.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin earlier told the Malay Mail Online website that the visa decision was “guided by the existing policy of the Malaysian government” which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
World Sailing president Carlo Croce said in a statement that a member of its executive was en route to Malaysia “to investigate this issue and is seeking clarification from the Malaysian Organizing Authority.”
“World Sailing expects the organizing authority of its events to allow sailors from all nations to compete on an equal basis,” Croce added in the statement. “This expectation is made clear in the bid process and is set out in the contractual documentation governing our events.”
“As with all diplomatic issues this is quite a delicate matter. World Sailing is aware of the current commentary in the public arena, and have reason to believe that some of the comments may not be accurate or possibly based on misunderstandings.”
The youth sailing worlds have been held for 44 years. The Malaysian event, which runs to Jan. 3, is expected to attract about 300 under-19 competitors.
By: JNS.org and AP.
Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation to Show Your Support!
Donate to vital charities that protect Israelis and help inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!
Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight - and win - the battle of public opinion.
Anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel's enemies effectively use social media to incite brutal terror against innocent Israeli civilians. Please help us fight back!