The men’s team squash world championship is scheduled to be held in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, from December 7 to 12.
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A ban that arouses anger. Malaysia is refusing to grant visas to Israeli players who are due to take part in the world team championship on its territory next month, the world sports federation said.
The predominantly Muslim Southeast Asian country, which does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, has already made several attempts to prevent Israeli athletes from entering its territory.
The World Squash Federation (WSF) reported “being informed that the Malaysian authorities, so far, have not yet agreed to provide visas to the Israeli squash team”. She “undertakes to respect the principle of open and inclusive championships in which all members of nations who want to participate are welcome”, said the sports organization in a press release to AFP.
The World Squash Federation is in contact with its Malaysian counterpart and hopes “that a fair and practical solution can be found”. That of Israel said it would turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the world federation did not provide a solution.
“It’s a shame that they mix sport and politics”, said Aviv Bushinsky, its president, to AFP. The Malaysian federation did not wish to comment. The competition had been moved from New Zealand to Malaysia earlier this year due to travel restrictions linked to the pandemic.
In 2019, Malaysia was stripped of its right to host the World Disabled Swimming Championships after threatening to ban Israeli athletes from competing. In 2015, it was Israeli windsurfers who had to withdraw from a competition on Langkawi Island for lack of visas. The Palestinian cause is strongly supported in Malaysia, where 60% of the population is Muslim, and Israeli passport holders cannot enter the country.