The World Squash Federation (WSF) and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) announced Monday, November 29, that the 2021 WSF Men’s World Team Championship—scheduled to take place December 7-12—has been cancelled.
The biennial team event that last took place in Washington, DC, in 2019 was cancelled due to lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas and travel authorizations, and additional concerns over the emerging COVID-19 variant. Read the full WSF statement here.
The men’s team representing Israel was not able to secure visas for travel to the event due to restrictions imposed by the Malaysian government, despite efforts to secure their inclusion by sports bodies including the WSF, SRAM, the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
“Inclusion is core to US Squash’s mission. We thank WSF, IOC and Member Federations for affirming the Olympic ideal of ‘building a better world through sport,’” said Soo Venkatesan, Board Chair of US Squash. “We commend WSF’s decision to uphold the right of all athletes from qualified teams to compete. Having been close to the process in the final days, we are confident viable alternatives were fully explored and understand how difficult this decision was for WSF and SRAM. We appreciate that national federations were not put in the position of withdrawing their teams under the circumstances, something the US Squash Board of Directors was preparing to do in consultation with its athletes and coaching staff. While this outcome is deeply regrettable for all the athletes, it reaffirms shared values of integrity, fair play, and mutual respect that unite our global squash community.”
“To our athletes who earned hard-fought spots on the 2021 Men’s World Team USA roster: Todd Harrity, Shahjahan Khan, Andrew Douglas and Chris Gordon, you are world-class champions, and we look forward to seeing you represent the U.S. on the global stage soon.”
“We’re extremely disappointed to announce that this year’s WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship has been cancelled,” said Zena Wooldridge, WSF President. “Together with SRAM, we have worked very hard to put the event on against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which had already caused us to move the event from Tauranga in New Zealand. I would like to extend my 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.”