The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has canceled its 2017 congress, which was supposed to be held in Malaysia after the Israeli football association complained that the Malaysian authorities refused to grant Israeli representatives the needed visas to enter the country. FIFA-Cancels-Malaysia -Conference-over-Refusal-to-Grant-Israelis-Entry

The Israelis complained that, “There are obstacles brought forward by the Malaysian government which prevents granting Israelis visas to Malaysia. Malaysia also prevents the raising of Israeli flags and symbols during conferences and events

Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail, the Head of BDS Malaysia, a non-government body that supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement told the Palestine Chronicle that his group plans to issue a statement in support of the Malaysian government’s position, stating, “This is the appropriate position.”

Commenting on the complaint, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister of Interior said, “We have a policy that we cannot accept countries with whom we have no diplomatic ties, and cannot allow the flag which would have to be hung outside the conference and placed on the tables.Israel withdrew from a surfing event in Malaysia in 2015 after two Israeli athletes were denied entry into the country. Malaysia is known for supporting the Palestinian cause, a stance established by the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahatir Mohammed, and it maintains that position till today