Over 10,000 religious Jews from Israel and around the world expected to arrive in Doha
Qatar will not allow any cooked kosher food and public Jewish prayers during the FIFA World Cup which kicked off on Sunday in Doha, forcing religious fans to cancel their trips.
Sources within Jewish organizations told Hebrew media that the Gulf state failed to deliver on its promise to allow Jewish prayer services during the first World Cup held in the Middle East. The Arab country had previously said that it could not guarantee the holding of prayers, before banning them completely.
“We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces so that religious Jews who came to see the matches could have a place of worship,” an unnamed representative of a Jewish organization told The Jerusalem Post.
“We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they couldn’t secure them.”
According to another source, a number of religious Jews from the U.S. had to cancel their trip to the World Cup due to the ban on the sale of cooked kosher meals.
“They were promised to be able to cook kosher food including kosher meat, but at the moment have only been allowed to sell cold bagel sandwiches,” the source said.
Nearly 10,000 religious Jews are expected to visit Doha during the World Cup that will end on December 18. Earlier on Sunday, the first-ever direct commercial flight took off from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport to the Qatari capital.
Israeli fans were given the opportunity to travel to the Gulf country that doesn’t have official relations with the Jewish state, after FIFA and Israeli government announced the launch of the direct flights operated by the Cypriot carrier TUS Airways last week.