Squash Championship Canceled After Host Malaysia Bans Israeli Players
The 2021 Men’s World Team Squash Championship was canceled on Monday, after host country Malaysia refused to grant visas to members of the Israeli team. The event, which was moved from New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions, had been scheduled to start on December 7.
The Israel Squash Association challenged Malaysia’s unwillingness to allow the Israeli sportsmen in to the country at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel and does not allow its citizens to visit Israel, in addition to not allowing Israelis to enter the country. Some 60 percent of the population are ethnic Malay Muslims.
The World Squash Federation and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia reportedly also were concerned about the event leading to the further spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which reportedly also contributed to the decision to cancel the championship.
Malaysia in 2019 threatened to withhold visas for Israeli athletes participating in the World Para Swimming Championships and lost its right to host the event.