World Sailing condemn ‘unacceptable’ behavior

World Sailing discuss recent ‘unacceptable events’ which led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Youth World Sailing Championship in Malaysia.

Shoshana Miskin ,

Israeli windsurfing competitors
Israeli windsurfing competitors
Flash 90

Following investigations after two Israeli windsurfers and their coach were denied visas to compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, World Sailing (Formerly ISAF) has condemned the “unacceptable events”.

Last month, the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) withdrew windsurfers Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan and coach Meir Yaniv from the Youth World Championship event because they had not received visas to enter the country.

ISA Chairman Amir Gill said that Malaysia had placed unacceptable demands upon the competitors by forbidding the delegates to compete under the Israeli flag, to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their clothes or surfboards, and would not play the Israeli national anthem should an Israeli win a gold medal.

In response, a member of World Sailing’s Executive Committee traveled to Malaysia to undertake a thorough investigation of the matter with the full cooperation of the International Olympic Committee.

World Sailing vice-president Gary Jobson released a statement last Friday on behalf of the Executive Committee promising changes in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in Malaysia, with sanctions a possibility for countries which do not follow suit. 

“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," said Jobson.

 “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 are to be published later this week.

Malaysia is also currently facing a possible ban from hosting major international table tennis event as it has yet to grant visas to Israeli participants to compete in next month's world team championships.