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Youth Worlds - World Sailing releases statement on Israel exclusion

by Richard Gladwell, on 9 Jan 2016
Yoav Omer is sprayed with champagne - RS:X Class Youth World Championships, Gdynia, Poland RS:X
The Executive Committee of World Sailing met over the weekend and have issued a short statement on the exclusion of two world champions from the 2015 Youth Worlds held recently in Malaysia.

The two sailors were from Israel and were expected to be amongst the medalists at the event if not both repeating their performances from the 2015 RS:X Youth Worlds where Israeli windsurfers won four world titles.

They were not issued with entry visas to Malaysia for what were described by the Malaysian Minister of Sport and Youth as political reasons.

In its statement World Sailing have not addressed the issue of what happened in Langkawi and have instead commented about future actions that may be taken. The possibility that Israeli sailors might be excluded was known to the then ISAF in 2011 and the world body claims to have been caught by surprise by the Israeli withdrawal after draconian conditions were placed on their entry by the Malaysian Government.

In a presentation at the London Boat Show, World Sailing Vice-President Gary Jobson said that the full report would be issued next week. This is expected on late Tuesday according to World Sailing sources.

Jobson cited several instances where there had been issues with entry visas, including a Cuban sailor who only received his entry visa for the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta four days after the event started. However there is little real comparision between that incident and the exclusion of the two world champions from the World Youth Championships in what the Malaysian government spokesman said was done for political reasons.

The ISAF/World Sailing Executive Committee seemed to be unwilling to take action for past incidents including the disgraceful exclusion of two world champion Israeli windsurfers from the 2015 Youth Worlds in Langkawi. Jobson said that in future all countries will be allowed to display their national flags and emblems or face sanctions for breaking agreements to this effect with World Sailing.

The full presentation by World Sailing can be heard here on Sail-World partner site by clicking here roll forward to the final four minutes to hear Jobson answer questions on the Israeli exclusion issue.

There has been no comment from World Sailing on the appointment of a new CEO which was expected from the same Executive Committee Meeting.

The World Sailing statement reads:

World Sailing's Executive Committee met today, Friday 8th January 2016, to urgently consider the recent unacceptable events at the just concluded Youth World Sailing Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Having undertaken a thorough investigation of this matter with the full co-operation of the IOC, it was decided as follows:

In future, the organisers (MNAs, regional organisations, national organisations, 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. 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 will be published next week.
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