Israelis will be able to enter Qatar for FIFA World Cup

This will be the first time that Israelis are accepted into Qatar without using a foreign passport.

 A view of the World Cup Trophy during an event marking "200 Days To Go" ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in Doha, Qatar May 6, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/IMAD CREIDI)
A view of the World Cup Trophy during an event marking "200 Days To Go" ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in Doha, Qatar May 6, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IMAD CREIDI)

Israelis will be able to enter Qatar during the International Federation of Association Football's (FIFA) 2022 World Cup event in November, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Sports Minister Chili Tropper said in a joint announcement on Thursday.

This will be the first time that Israelis are accepted into Qatar without using a foreign passport.

"We are bringing today another political achievement that fills the hearts of fans," said Lapid. "The love of soccer and sport connects people [and] between states and the World Cup in November opens for us a gate to new warm relations. I congratulate all the partners and await the beginning of the competition." 

A major achievement

The political achievement comes after several months of negotiations with FIFA.

 Naftali Bennett meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino on October 12, 2021. (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO) Naftali Bennett meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino on October 12, 2021. (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

"The combined forces of FIFA and the foreign minister, defense minister and sports minister ensured that Israeli fans of the sport will be able to come."

Oren Hasson, Israeli Football Association

After purchasing tickets, fans football fans will be able to apply for a Fan ID online. Once approved, the Fan ID will serve as an entry visa and allow for booking accommodations and flights.

"I congratulate the achievement of coordination for the sake of Israeli fans of the sport."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

"Sport has the power to cross continents and connect between people and states," said Tropper. "I am happy about the important political and sports news, that also allows Israeli fans to participate in the biggest celebration of soccer in the world. A lot of Israeli fans are happy today." 

There was longstanding speculation whether Israelis would be able to attend the 2022 World Cup since Qatar was announced as the host. 

Qatar does not approve visas for Israeli passports, and ordinarily Israelis must use foreign passports to enter.

A 2019 report by Cornerstone Global Associates, a British consulting firm, assessed that banning fans based on nationality would be a breach of FIFA ethics.

"Qatar is an important state internationally, that also contributes to the stability of our region," Gantz said. "I hope that the visit of Israeli to the state will strengthen the familiarity between the citizens of the two states."