Israelis get approval to head to Qatar for World Cup

Flags with FIFA and Qatar 2022 World Cup logo waving in the wind. Credit: rarrarorro/Shutterstock.
The Gulf state has been seen as an unlikely diplomatic partner for Israel, but is opening its borders to ticket-holders for soccer matches.

 Add another Gulf destination has opened to Israeli citizens, at least for a month.

Despite a lack of diplomatic relations between Doha and Jerusalem, Israelis will have the opportunity to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, set for Nov. 21 through Dec. 18.

Israel made the announcement on Thursday after reaching an agreement with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

Under normal circumstances, Israelis are only allowed to travel to Qatar utilizing a foreign passport. There was no immediate comment from FIFA or Qatar, though Doha has previously said it would not block Israelis wishing to attend the tournament.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the deal “another diplomatic achievement that will warm the hearts of soccer fans.” He noted that the agreement “opens a gate to new, warm relations.”

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