The Israel national squash team

Malaysia refuses to allow Israeli players at world squash event

World Squash Federation says it seeks 'open and inclusive' Kuala Lumpur tournament, is in contact with Muslim country's authorities in hopes for 'fair and practical solution'; Israel Association says it plans to turn to Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland

AFP |
Published: 11.25.21, 11:50
Muslim-majority Malaysia is refusing to grant visas for Israeli players to participate in a major squash tournament next month, the sport's governing body says, sparking anger in the Jewish state.
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  • It is the latest instance of the South-east Asian nation, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, attempting to bar athletes from the country.
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     נבחרת הסקווש של ישראל
     נבחרת הסקווש של ישראל
    The Israel national squash team
    The World Team Championship for men is due to take place in Kuala Lumpur from Dec 7-12, with 26 squads participating.
    But the World Squash Federation (WSF) said it had "been made aware that, at present, the Malaysian authorities have not accepted yet to provide visas for the Israel squash team".
    "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," the governing body said in a statement to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
    The WSF added it is in contact with Malaysia's squash body and hoped that "a fair and practical solution can be achieved".
    The Israel Squash Association said it plans to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the WSF cannot resolve the issue.
    "It's a shame that they are mixing sports with politics," association chairman Aviv Bushinsky told AFP.
    "Those who close their eyes - all the countries that participate and let something like that happen - they allow racism and discrimination to take place in sports."
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    the malaysian capital of kuala lumpur
    the malaysian capital of kuala lumpur
    the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia, the country's squash organization, declined to comment.
    The tournament was earlier this year moved to Malaysia from New Zealand because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
    In 2019, Malaysia was stripped of the right to host the World Para Swimming Championships for threatening to refuse Israeli athletes.
    And in 2015, Israeli windsurfers had to pull out of a competition on the island of Langkawi after being refused visas.
    The Palestinian cause enjoys widespread support in Malaysia, where about 60 percent of the population are ethnic Malay Muslims, and entry into the country on an Israeli passport is forbidden.
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