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Squash Championship Canceled over Malaysia’s Ban on “Israeli” Participation

Squash Championship Canceled over Malaysia’s Ban on “Israeli” Participation
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

The Men’s World Team Squash Championship in Malaysia was canceled on Monday amid pushback against the entry ban on “Israelis” as well as concerns over the new COVID variant.

In a statement, the World Squash Federation [WSF] said that it "believes in an open and inclusive Men’s World Team Squash Championships."

Concerns over the omicron COVID variant also prompted the cancellation, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The “Israel” Squash Association [ISA] voiced its gratitude for the WSF decision:

"As lovers of sports in general and squash in particular, we know how difficult it is to cancel a tournament," ISA chairman Aviv Bushinsky said.

"When all parties realized Malaysians are banning ‘Israelis’ from playing, I was grateful to read the President's letter affirming a commitment to our participation,” he added, The Post reported.

Bushinsky proposed that the “Israeli” entity host WSF events, including teams from countries that do not have diplomatic ties with the entity.

"There is nothing more frustrating for a professional athlete than to be told that he, she cannot compete after years of training and preparation, yet I believe that this incident will prevent any similar discrimination in the future," he said.

After “Israelis” were banned from competing in next week’s event in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, the ISA sued the WSF as well as the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia.

“We wish to ensure that no squash player should be excluded from tournaments due to their race, nationality, sexual orientation, and politics,” Bushinsky said, The Post reported.

The “Israeli” entity and Malaysia currently do not have formal diplomatic relations, and “Israelis” are not able to visit the Southeast Asian country as Malaysian passports bear the inscription “This passport is valid for all countries except ‘Israel’”.