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Sports

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Waqar Hamza
February 12, 2017

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International squash body cancels events in Pakistan this year

International squash body cancels events in Pakistan this year

KARACHI: Professional Squash Association (PSA), the international body of squash players, has cancelled all sanctioned and unsanctioned international events in Pakistan this year due to security concerns.

The security consultant firm of the PSA had recommended the cancellation of events, ‘The News’ has learnt.

The events affected by this move include the $15,000 Bahria Town Championships for women — scheduled to be held in March.

Tour Director of PSA Hannah Ridgard-Mason on Friday sent an e-mail to the PSA office and all the players entered in the Bahria Town event about this decision.

“Following a report from our security consultants, Sports Risk, the PSA board has made the decision to cease sanctioning events in Pakistan at this time due to excessive risk,” the e-mail stated.

“Unfortunately, this means that we are forced to cancel PSA’s sanctioning of the upcoming 4th Bahria Town International Women’s Squash Championship 2017 and remove it from our calendar,”

“Sports Risk are due to meet with Pakistan Squash in Lahore in March to discuss this matter, but PSA will not sanction any events in Pakistan until further notice.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope you can understand that this difficult decision has been taken with our players’ best interests in mind.”

This decision has surprised Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), which hosted around 70 international players last year in four PSA-25 events.

“This is very surprising. This sudden and unexpected move of the PSA merely on the recommendation of their security consultants is not right,” said Secretary PSF Amir Nawaz, when contacted.

He added that Pakistan is safe for international sports events.

“They did not even take feedback from international players who have visited Pakistan in recent years,” said Amir. “We will try to convince PSA board that this is not right.”

“Hopefully this restriction will soon be lifted. And we will get to conduct our regular PSA events from October onward,” added Amir.

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