Squash world championship in Malaysia canceled over refusal to allow in Israelis – The Times of Israel

npressfetimg-1227.png

The World Squash Federation announced on Monday that the World Men’s Team Squash Championship scheduled for next week in Kuala Lumpur was canceled after Malaysian authorities refused to allow entry to Israeli athletes.

In its statement, WSF said it “believes in an open and inclusive” event, and it was forced to cancel “due to the lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas and travel authorizations.”

Malaysia and Israel have no diplomatic ties, and Israelis are barred from visiting the South Asian country. In 2019, Malaysia was stripped of the right to host the World Para Swimming Championships for threatening to refuse Israeli athletes, and the competition was moved to London. This year’s tournament was moved to Malaysia from New Zealand because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

WSF President Zena Wooldridge indicated that Malaysia’s Olympic officials worked to allow the entry of Israeli athletes, but were unsuccessful in persuading the government to reverse course.

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Malaysia for their unwavering efforts to influence the highest authorities of Malaysia to ensure the ability of all participating teams including Israel to enter Malaysia and compete, without any political discrimination, in accordance with the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter,” said Wooldridge. “It is important to WSF that no nation who wishes to compete misses out on the event.”

Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition
by email and never miss our top stories

By signing up, you agree to the terms

In its statement, WSF noted that it also had “concerns surrounding the new COVID-19 variant,” which could impact the travel plans of other teams.

Illustrative: Israeli squash player Daniel Poleshchuk, on December 26, 2012. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Earlier this month, the Israel Squash Association said it planned to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the WSF could not resolve the issue.

“It’s a shame that they are mixing sports with politics,” association chairman Aviv Bushinsky told AFP. “Those who close their eyes — all the countries that participate and let something like that happen — they allow racism and discrimination to take place in sports.”

“I find it impossible to believe that in this modern era, there is still a place for discrimination, as well as the mixing of political considerations and sport,” Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper said in an earlier statement.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

You’re serious. We appreciate that!

We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month.

That’s why we come to work every day – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/squash-championship-in-malaysia-canceled-over-refusal-to-allow-in-israeli-athletes/