The World Squash Federation announced on Monday that the World Men’s Team Squash Championship scheduled for next week in Kuala Lumpur was cancelled 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.”
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