Israeli windsurfer Nimrod Mashiah.
(photo credit: AMIT SHISEL/ISA)
The Israel Sailing Association (ISA) has sent a letter to World Sailing President Carlo Croce asking that he guarantees that Israel's sailors will be able to take part in all future events.
The ISA is concerned that its representatives will be unable to compete at the 2016 Youth World Championships to be held in Oman in December and the World Cup final to take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in October. Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Oman or the United Arab Emirates.
The ISA's letter comes on the back of last week's announcement by World Sailing which blamed Malaysian authorities of forcing Israel's windsurfers to withdraw from the 2015 Youth World Championships. World Sailing added that sanctions would be imposed in the future event of a breach of the "no discrimination" regulations at a regatta.
Possible sanctions include: non-selection as a future venue, denial of appointment of World Sailing race officials to future regattas in the country, and / or cancellation of membership of World Sailing.
Israel's Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan did not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the championships in Langkawi, Malaysia earlier this month after the 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. The ISA claimed 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 ISA is demanding to receive a guarantee that Israel's athletes will compete as equals according to the Olympic Charter, including with all accepted national symbols," said ISA chairman Gili Amir. "We are also demanding that a competition will be moved should visas not be provided and should athletes be unable to compete with national symbols." World Sailing wrote in its statement last week that "all World Sailing championships involve an element of country representation, and at all these regattas, flags shall be displayed and winners' anthems played.
They shall be displayed and played equally for all competitors.
Organizing Authorities who are not able to meet this requirement should not bid, and will not be selected, to host future World Sailing championships."