It has been decided the world squash tournament that will be happening Kuala Lumpur in December is now being cancelled, after Malaysia refused to grant visas for the Israeli players.
Previously, it was reported that Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, which led to the barring of the entry of country’s athletes.
The World Team Championship for men had been scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur from 7 to 12 December with 26 squads participating.
However, the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) said that it had been axed because of the “possibility that some nations would be unable to compete due to the lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas”.
In a statement, WSF president Zena Woolridge said sports officials had sought to “influence the highest authorities in Malaysia to ensure the ability of all participating teams, including Israel, to enter Malaysia and compete.”
“It is important to WSF that no nation who wishes to compete misses out on the event.”
Previously, the Israel Squash Association said the countries which in a tournament from which Israel was barred would be closing their eyes to “racism and discrimination”.
They had also threatened to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the WSF could not resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the WSF also explain that the decision to cancel the event takes into consideration the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, which it fears could affect travel to Malaysia.
The tournament was supposed be held earlier this year in New Zealand, but it was subsequently moved to Malaysia due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
“Together with SRAM, we have worked very hard to put the event on against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which had already caused us to move the event from Tauranga in New Zealand.” WSF said.