World Squash Federation cancels competition in Malaysia after it bans Israel

November 30, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The World Squash Federation (WSF) announced Monday that the 2021 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship, which was scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur in December, has been cancelled after Malaysia refused to admit the Israeli team into the country.

The WSF “believes in an open and inclusive Men’s World Team Squash Championships and the possibility that some nations would be unable to compete due to the lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas and travel authorizations by the National Authorities has led the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) to inform the WSF of the decision to cancel,” it stated.

WSF President Zena Wooldridge extended his “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.”

“It is important to WSF that no nation who wishes to compete misses out on the event,” he underscored.

Raheli Baratz-Rix, Head of Department for Combatting Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organization, stated in response that “antisemitism can manifest itself in many ways and this is one of them, but this time the Malaysians have hurt themselves as well.”

“Instead of proving that sport can unite cultures and transcend controversy, the Malaysians have chosen to focus on petty racism and get Israel out of the game, just because they are Jews,” she pointed out.

“Well done to the World Squash Association who decided to cancel the international competition and proved that there are those who see beyond small politics. And to you, the Israeli team in squash, despite the cancellation of the competition, nothing will break you. The State of Israel is with you,” she added.

The Muslim majority country has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Malaysia has previously been entangled in anti-Israel actions in sporting events.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships after it refused to admit Israeli athletes into the country.

Malaysia prevented a pair of Israeli windsurfers from competing in the Youth Sailing World Championships in 2016.

From Melbourne, David Schulberg reports the President of the Israeli Squash Federation Aviv Bushinsky is upset that they have used omicron as an excuse. The official explanation on their website stated “the WSF and SRAM both have concerns surrounding the new COVID-19 variant – Omicron – which has been reported in multiple countries around the world and could have a big impact on the ability of certain teams to travel to Malaysia for the event.”

The Miss Universe Pageant taking place in Eilat on December 13th is going ahead despite concerns over omicron and the fact that Israel announced last weekend that it was closing its borders to all foreigners entering the state for 14 days.

Miss Malaysia, who is boycotting the Miss Universe Pageant in Israel, will rue her government’s decision to block Israeli players from competing there in the World Squash Championships. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stripped Malaysia of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships with the country unable to guarantee that Israeli athletes could compete. And now this. Malaysia is certainly paying a price for its antisemitism.

Readers are invited to listen to Schulberg’s interview with Aviv Bushinsky on J-AIR from 4-5 pm on Friday, Dec 3rd from 1-2 pm. Listeners can download the podcast from OmnyStudio once it becomes available.

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