Qatar won’t boycott Israel’s team, says International Volleyball - exclusive

Qatar’s regime reportedly planned to bar the Israeli team players from the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event.

 Beach volleyball (Illustrative). (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Beach volleyball (Illustrative).
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The organizations that govern international volleyball competitions said on Sunday that Qatar’s monarchy will not deny visas to Israel’s national beach volleyball team players for a slated event in Doha in early February.

"The FIVB [Fédération Internationale de Volleyball] and Volleyball World can confirm the receipt of confirmation from the organizer of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event scheduled for 1-5 February in Doha, Qatar, of its guarantee that a visa will be granted to the Israel national beach volleyball team, should they qualify for the event. The Israel national beach volleyball team is currently a reserve team and is not yet qualified to participate in the tournament according to the FIVB's competition regulations," said the volleyball organizations in a statement to The Jerusalem Post.

The newspaper Israel Hayom reported on January 14 that Qatar’s regime planned to bar the Israeli team players from the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event. Israel Hayom cited an anonymous source about Doha’s alleged boycott of Israeli players.

Did Qatar try to violate rules by boycotting Israeli athletes?

Shai Glick, CEO of the Betsalmo – Human Rights in a Jewish Spirit NGO, told JNS that he sent a letter on January 16 to International Volleyball Federation President Ary Graça and to International Volleyball Federation President General Director Fabio Azevedo.

According to the letter, “Qatar is blocking the participation of the Israeli team – Anita Dave & Yahli Ashush – by refusing to grant them VISAs. This conduct is a breach of FIVB’s Code of Ethics article 9.2.4 which forbids discrimination on national origin and/or political grounds.”

The Qatari flag is seen at a park near Doha Corniche, in Doha (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM AL OMARI)The Qatari flag is seen at a park near Doha Corniche, in Doha (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM AL OMARI)

The Post sent Glick’s letter to the FIVB for a comment. In response to the Post query,  FIVB and Volleyball World denied Qatar planned to boycott Israel.