World Cup 2022: Israeli fans to be allowed entry to Qatar
Israeli fans will be able to attend World Cup 2022 matches in Qatar later this year after Israel's government reached a deal with Fifa on Thursday.
The agreement was announced in a joint statement made by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Sports Minister Chili Tropper.
"We are bringing today another political achievement that fills the hearts of fans," Lapid said on Twitter.
"The love of soccer and sport connects people, between states and the World Cup in November opens for us a gate to new warm relations. I congratulate all the partners and await the beginning of the competition."
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Israel and Qatar established trade relations in 1996 and have maintained low-key economic and non-official diplomatic ties since.
Dual national Israelis could enter Qatar using another passport in the past, but the new deal will allow them to enter it using their Israeli documents, according to Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.
Nearly 15,000 Israelis have bought tickets for the World Cup, and sports tourism agencies estimate that between 25,000 and 30,000 Israelis could travel to Qatar to enjoy the tournament.
In April, Israel was reportedly mulling banning its citizens from travelling to the Gulf state citing security concerns.
The World Cup will be played in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December for the first time in the Arab world.
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