Muslim-majority country is accused of racism and discrimination by refusing to grant visas to players from the Jewish state
Egyptians Karim Abdel Gawad (right) and Marwan Elshorbargy (left) play a match during the CIB Egyptian Squash Open 2019 on Oct. 30, 2019, in Cairo. (Photo: AFP)
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.
It is the latest instance of the Southeast Asian nation, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, attempting to bar athletes from the country.
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 AFP.
The WSF added it is in contact with Malaysia's squash body and hoped that "a fair and practical solution can be achieved".
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
The Israel Squash Association said it plans to turn to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if the WSF can't 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."
The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia, the country's squash organisation, 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 populaton are ethnic Malay Muslims, and entry into the country on an Israeli passport is forbidden.
Unequal Christians of Asian Churches is a new series of features aimed to help us see prejudice and bias that are at work in our Church. They also help us see the struggles of Catholics to live out their faith.
Such features come to you for FREE, but it cost us to produce them.
Share your comments
Heze Diocese covers eight counties, a district, and a development area. The Diocese was separated from the
Ahmedabad, a mega city, is the commercial capital of Gujarat, although the political capital has been shifted some 32
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Yingkou/Yingkow is a diocese located in the city
Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral in Hyderabad is a British-colonial-era religious landmark in...
Christ the King Cathedral in Nha Trang of south-central Vietnam adds to the jewels in a coastal...
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait...