The relationship between Malaysia and Israel has never been great due to the their different stance towards the issue of Palestine.
Recently, the Malaysian Immigration was reported to refused to grant visas for Israeli players to participate in the world squash tournament in Kuala Lumpur, set to happen from 7 to 12 December.
According to CNN Indonesia, Malaysia has denied granting the visas to the Israeli players and officials as Malaysia did not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Meanwhile, the World Squash Federation (WSF) said they were made aware of the situation and they strongly oppose to the policy taken by the Malaysian government.
“The WSF is committed to the principle of open and inclusive world championships in which all member nations who wish to participate are welcome to do so.” they said in a statement.
The WSF added that they had been in contact with the Malaysian Squash Association and hope that “a fair and practical solution can be achieved”.
On the other hand, the Israel Squash Association said they had plans to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the WSF cannot resolve the issue.
“It is very embarrassing for them (Malaysia) to mix sports with politics,”
“For those who turn a blind eye, all the countries that participate and let this problem happen, they let racism and discrimination exist in sports,” the Israeli Squash Association said.
The Malaysian Squash Association had declined to comment on the matter too.
The Squash World Championship was originally set to take place in New Zealand, but was then moved to Malaysia due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
However, this isn’t the first time it is happening too.
In 2019, Malaysia was then stripped of the right to host the World Para Swimming Championships for threatening to refuse entry of Israeli athletes.
And in 2015, Israeli surfing athletes were also forced to withdraw from a tournament in Langkawi, due to their visas being denied by Malaysia.
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