Commenting on the announcement, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached for Israeli and Palestinian fans to visit Qatar and attend matches during the FIFA World Cup. With this deal, Israelis and Palestinians will be able to fly together and enjoy football together. I would like to thank our Israeli, Palestinian and Qatari counterparts for helping to make this happen. Football has the power to bring people together, it transcends all boundaries, crosses all borders, and fosters unity like nothing else. The World Cup is the ultimate symbol of football’s unifying power, and today’s historic announcement provides a platform to improve relations across the Middle East”.
A spokesperson for Q22 said: “Since winning the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, we have always said that all ticket holders will be able to attend matches in Qatar. The announcement today illustrates our commitment to respecting FIFA’s policies and hosting requirements including the right of everyone to attend matches. This also includes the requirement that Palestinian ticket holders and media are able to travel on these chartered flights with no restrictions as they have an equal right to enjoy the tournament, which is made extra special by it being the first World Cup to be hosted in the Arab and Muslim world. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is on course to leave a positive legacy on Qatar, the Middle East and the Arab world, and with 2.9 million of the three million tickets now sold, we look forward to welcoming fans from around the globe.”
Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alon Ushpiz, said: “Today’s announcement will allow Israeli citizens to freely travel to Qatar and attend matches at the World Cup. We have successfully secured all guarantees, including access to consular services for Israelis during their stay in Qatar. As the first World Cup ever hosted in the Middle East, it promises to be a celebration of football and an opportunity for Israelis to build connections and share cultural experiences with people from across our region and the wider world.”
In addition, it was agreed that consular services will be provided to Israeli citizens through an Israeli consular team.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid responded to the deal: “This is great news for football fans and for all Israelis. After hard work over the course of many months, we have arranged for Israeli citizens to be able to fly to the World Cup in Qatar on direct flights, and the opening of an Israeli office in Qatar to provide services to fans coming for the World Cup.”
“I want to thank everyone who took part in this effort: FIFA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Transportation, the National Security Council, and Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz, who coordinated our efforts.”