Statement Regarding Misha Zilberman

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Badminton World Federation is pleased that a solution was found that allowed Misha Zilberman to compete in the TOTAL BWF World Championships in Jakarta and appreciates the efforts of all who have been involved in this matter.

In this regard, badminton’s world-governing body wishes to acknowledge BWF_logoand thank the Indonesian Government, Indonesia’s National Olympic Committee and other stakeholders for their respective roles in ensuring that the Israeli athlete was able to take his rightful place at this prestigious tournament.

The BWF wishes to note that, in the months and weeks leading up to the championships, it has been working quietly but diligently with Zilberman (featured image) to make sure he complied with all requirements for entry into Indonesia for this event. Statements have been made in the media by different interested parties over the past week stating BWF would not let Misha Zilberman compete and that BWF did nothing to assist in the visa-approval process – both statements were completely erroneous and based on uninformed assumptions. BWF has worked extremely hard with both local and Israeli stakeholders. However, BWF chose not to engage in a public discussion to avoid any distraction while focusing on a solution, as such public attention could have endangered the ultimate objective – to get Misha Zilberman to play in the World Championships.

Thankfully, BWF and other stakeholders were able to determine a plan of action to permit Zilberman to fulfil his desire to compete in the World Championships while, at the same time, securing his welfare and security during his stay in Jakarta. Although BWF would have wished an earlier resolution to this matter to allow the player longer preparation prior to his match, this collaboration has succeeded with Zilberman playing in the first round of the Men’s Singles competition this morning.

BWF remains of the view that sport should always transcend political challenges and sees the outcome of this situation as a validation of that core principle; indeed a sentiment which Zilberman himself expressed after his match today.

Again, the BWF wishes to thank all agencies and persons involved in this effort and looks forward to the conclusion of another successful and enjoyable World Championships.