Uri Levy, a journalist, and founder of the football news site Babagol, spoke to i24NEWS on the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is expected to draw many thousands of Israelis to Qatar.
Nearly 15,000 Israelis have already purchased tickets to attend the event, according to daily newspaper Israel Hayom, and are expected to travel to the country despite the fact that Israel and Qatar share no diplomatic ties.
Though entry to the state would normally be prohibited to Israelis, Qatar is allowing travelers from every country to visit as long as they possess tickets to attend at least one World Cup match.
Levy said that the situation is creating “quite a headache” for Israel’s security establishment and that the country’s officials will hold a discussion on the matter next week.
“Israel and Qatar do not hold official relations, and with the fact that Iran is participating in the World Cup - that can be an interesting and very unique stage for Israelis and Iranians… to meet,” Levy said.
Additionally, projections from sports travel agencies indicate that the number of Qatar’s World Cup visitors from Israel could grow to anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000, according to Israel Hayom.
“I didn’t expect these numbers already now, seven months before the World Cup, so it’s going to be interesting to see what’s up,” the Babagol founder said.