World Sailing said it “deeply regretted” Malaysia’s discrimination against two Israeli windsurfers who were refused entry to the youth championships in Malaysia.

World Sailing said it “deeply regrets” that two Israeli windsurfers were refused visas to compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia, and warned Wednesday that discrimination at future events could lead to a country concerned losing its membership.

Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan were unable to compete in the event from December 27 to January 3, with a Malaysian government minister saying the decision was guided by the country not having diplomatic relations with Israel.

World Sailing said it conducted a thorough investigation, with full cooperation of the International Olympic Committee, and a report was released Wednesday following a review at the governing body’s general meeting.

World Sailing said Malaysian authorities breached a rule which states that members are obligated to ensure there is “no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or political affiliation” against competitors.

If there is a future breach of the “no discrimination” regulations at a regatta, World Sailing said it could impose sanctions including non-selection as a future host, denial of appointment of World Sailing race officials to future regattas, and cancellation of membership of World Sailing.

Israel has repeatedly encountered discrimination by Muslim countries, and specifically those hosting sports events.

An Israeli sportsman was barred entry to a badminton competition hosted by Indonesia in August, and was granted access to the Muslim country only after a long battle.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) was forced to intervene to ensure that the Israeli athlete could secure a visa.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff