StandWithUs calls upon FIFA, the international soccer association, to ensure that the Qatari government will issue entry visas to Israeli fans wishing to attend the FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022. To date, Israel is not included in Qatar’s online list of nearly 250 nationalities and territories eligible for an entry visa. Like most Arab states (with the exceptions of Egypt and Jordan that have peace treaties with Israel) Qatar does not recognize Israel and bans Israelis from entering.
FIFA’s Code of Ethics unambiguously forbid the banning of people based on their country of origin. Article 22 proscribes “offend[ing] the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions on account of race, skin colour, ethnicity, nationality, social origin, gender, disability, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.”
“We call upon FIFA not to score an own goal and to uphold their Code of Ethics, which is premised on protecting international football from ‘illegal, immoral or unethical’ practices. If Qatar is allowed to ban fans on the basis of national origin, this would be a clear violation of FIFA’s guidelines,” said Roz Rothstein CEO and Co-Founder of StandWithUs.
Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of London-based Cornerstone Global Associates, told Fox News there is a risk arising from incompatible FIFA ethics and Qatari laws. He said, “Unless the differences between those two are reconciled, the risk remains stacked against the sponsors. The sponsors may find themselves in a situation where they appear to be promoting values that are contrary to what they publicly state they stand for.” International partners and sponsors of the 2022 FIFA World Cup include Coca Cola, Adidas, Hyundai-KIA, Visa, Wanda Group, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Vivo.
“StandWithUs urges FIFA’s Ethics Committee to investigate and judge the conduct of the Government of Qatar in this matter to ensure that football fans from all states, nationalities and territories will be allowed entry to Qatar so they may participate in the 2022 World Cup. If Qatar is allowed to ban Israeli fans from entering this will reflect negatively on FIFA, which has made inclusion a primary hallmark of their ethos,” Rothstein said.