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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 9:40am
Here's an interesting twist - the USA currently restricts athletes and sporting personnel from one country. Until recently it restricted those from two. Soon it may stop ALL Muslim sailors from entering.  So where is the campaign to stop ISAF from holding world titles in the USA?

To quote the US Treasury. "Under U.S. law, all U.S. individuals and companies are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with any Cubans, including Cuban athletes such as baseball and soccer players, unless certain narrow exemptions apply."

So it seems fairly obvious - consistency demands that the US should also be prevented from holding world titles.  They cannot guarantee entry to Cubans, and if Trump gets in sailors from many countries will be banned.  That's got to be worth a story.  

One also wonders whether, in the name of consistency, sailing news websites could consider not profiting by publicising regattas held in the USA, a country that does not allow sailors from all countries to freely compete?  If it's wrong to hold world titles there (and if one believes that ISAF should not sanction titles in a country that does not allow countries from all nations to freely compete then it must be wrong) then how can it be right to report on them?

I dunno, to me it just seems to show that these things are pretty complicated and that ISAF is in a difficult position.



Edited by Chris 249 - 29 Jan 16 at 9:53am
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Richard Gladwell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard Gladwell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 11:03am
A few points. USA is no different from the rest of the world if any country bars sailors from competing by refusing entry visas, then they face sanctions and won't get further world or other World Sailing sanctioned regattas. The World Sailing release after the 2015 Youth Worlds debacle made that very clear.

Most countries are smart enough to have individual exemption clauses and apply them - Malaysia does and did not.

But the sailors have to want to enter  as provided by the Notice of Race - not just have someone nit pick a domestic immigration policy. The Israelis entered, filed their papers the same time as other countries and were visas weren't issued.

I'm more than comfortable with not reporting on events which discriminate - or the alternative is to inject a very prominent paragraph into each race report pointing out that two world champions were barred from competing in the Youth Worlds, which is the tack we took on Sail-World. If we say nothing and run no reports - then the even takes place and no-one is any the wiser as to why two current world champions are not featuring in the results. 

In the case of the last youth worlds, Malaysia copped more negative publicity about their discrimination, and continues to cop it - than they did positive stories about the regatta they hosted.

RG
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 5:20am
It's hardly "nit picking a domestic immigration policy" to point out that the USA specifically notes that sportspeople from one particular country may be excluded.

Australia effectively does it too.  The Immigration Department has a list of countries, ranked in terms of the chances that visitors will overstay their visa.  Athletes from countries with a high proportion of overstayers may be denied entry when similar athletes from other countries are allowed in.

See

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/australia-denies-visa-to-indian-lawn-bowls-team/article453483.ece


PS - good on you for publicising the odious actions of the Malaysian government, but other countries appear to be prepared to do the same thing.









Edited by Chris 249 - 30 Jan 16 at 8:15am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 9:11am
It does get murkier the deep one delves, and I have to say that if such a proportion of countries have these policies, it becomes less surprising that ISAF have to fudge things.

Does anyone know if the UK has any such bans in place currently? Or has that already been mentioned and I've forgotten?!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 9:34am
Originally posted by Rupert

...if the UK has any such bans in place currently?

These things come and go according to the latest political fads, press campaigns and focus group results... Bid umpteen years ahead for a major event and who knows what will have become a local issue by the time it happens.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 8:09pm
I think the Australian "flight risk ranking" is held at a very high secrecy level.  I used to work investigating and banning shonky migration lawyers (best job I ever had) and had powers to obtain information from the immigration department, but the "flight list ranking" was such political dynamite that it was not going to be revealed.

The other thing about the "flight list ranking" (or whatever it was called) is that I think it's calculated according to the number of people from each country and their likelihood of overstaying their visa.  That means that it can change from year to year, even without political fads etc which are of course also vital.

That means that Yachting Australia and ISAF cannot actually schedule a world title in Oz and know that all competitors will be allowed entry.  The same thing probably exists in many other countries, but whether anyone can tell ISAF the workings of such confidential systems is doubtful.  So if ISAF is only going to hold titles in countries where sportspeople from all countries have exactly the same right of access, then Australia is out, the US is out, and ISAF must spend up on immigration law specialists to find out what other countries are out.

Australian and American sailors will then never be able to have a world title at home, which seems unfair.  If two Israelis not being able to display their flag was such an issue, why is it OK for hundreds of Australian and American youths (and seniors) to NEVER be allowed to have a home worlds, because of decisions made by politicians?   What will it do for the sport as a whole if two of the major countries can no longer hold world titles?

I was reading more about the 1936 Olympics the other day.  Athletes had to report to the Nazi authorities if they spoke to Jews.  Jews, of course, were not allowed to compete on the German team (with maybe one exception).  It was a classic illustration that you don't get rid of politics in sport by allowing athletes of all nations to compete.

And as for economic boycotts being better ways of exerting pressure - that would be news to the Iranians who die because the US won't let their ageing airliners get parts, or the employees who get laid off when firms lose overseas orders. They may feel that losing their life or job is a tiny bit worse than someone losing the chance to sail.




Edited by Chris 249 - 01 Feb 16 at 8:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 8:51pm
It looks NZ had a ban on Zimbabwean sporting teams until a few years ago.  Does that mean that the worlds in NZ during that period should be erased from history?

Obviously the question cannot hinge on whether any person from a banned country actually entered, since that means that people must waste time and money entering a regatta they know they can't compete in. Who knows if Zimbabwean sailors lost a chance to represent their country in NZ during that time?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 9:29pm
Now, if Zimbabwe had oil, it would have been invaded "for humanitarian reasons" years ago. And maybe with better reason than the efforts of the last 20 years.

Chris, I think you have shown very well that there are no right answers in any of this. What are the least wrong answers?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 16 at 10:39am
Least wrong... its a complicated philosophical question, but the Benthamite principle of greatest good to the greatest number is not the worst principle to pick.
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