Published on January 5th, 2016
A detailed search of the Minutes of the then International Sailing Federation show that concerns over competitor entry were raised in 2011, when Langkawi, Malaysia was approved as the venue for the 2015 Youth World Championship.
Those concerns were that not all competitors would be allowed to compete in the event.
That premonition turned in reality on Christmas Eve for two Israeli windsurfers who had won the RS:X Class Youth World Championships in Portugal, earlier this year, and looked to be assured of a medal of some colour in the ISAF Youth Regatta, staged in Malaysia.
A protracted negotiation took place between the Malaysian Sailing Association and other parties, which resulted in a letter being sent to the Israel Sailing Association, which had what were described by the CEO of the Israel Sailing Association as ‘grave conditions’ relating in part to the requirement that they could not compete as Israel flagged entries, could not have their anthem played if they won. There was a total of seven draconian requirements, any one of which would not have been tolerated by any other team.
The question as to the issuance of visas went right to the level of the Malaysian Cabinet, and the Minister of Youth and Sport is reported as saying the exclusion of Israel was a political one, having initially claimed the decision to decline was on security grounds.
As well as the ‘grave conditions ‘ imposed, the Malaysian authorities had not sent visas to the sailors by Christmas Eve, three days before the start of the regatta, when the team was due to depart. The Israelis were effectively forced to withdraw. The visas still have not arrived. – Sail-World, full story