World Sailing said it will level sanctions against any host nation that doesn’t allow competitors from all countries to participate equally, after Israel’s windsurfers were not able to take part in the Youth World Sailing Championship earlier this month in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Israel’s Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan did not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the championships after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) said that it will not be participating in the event due to the demands made by the organizers and the fact the surfers had yet to receive visas.

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The ISA said that it was told the surfers would not compete under the Israel flag and wouldn’t be allowed to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their cloths or surfboards. The hosts also said that should an Israeli win a gold medal the Israeli national anthem would not be played.


World Sailing’s Executive Committee met last Friday to discuss the “recent unacceptable events at the just concluded Youth World Sailing Championship,” and said it had undertaken a thorough investigation of the matter with the full cooperation of the International Olympic Committee.

“In future the organizers (MNAs, regional organizations, national organizations, international classes, etc) of all international sailing competitions will be required to comply with specific conditions to ensure that all competitors from all countries can participate equally,” a World Sailing statement read. “If these conditions are not met specific sanctions will be applied to any future international sailing competitions held in that country.”

Details of the conditions will be published later this week.