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June 6, 2017

PSF has no issue with playing against Israel


June 6, 2017

KARACHI: Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) says their players will not refuse to play against debutant Israel in WSF Men’s World Teams Squash Championship.

Iraq, Israel and Jamaica will make their debut in the 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in which 28 nations will compete.

The championship will be held in Marseille, France, from November 27 to December 3, at Modern Squash and Salle Vallier.

“We have no issues in playing against Israel,” said PSF secretary Tahir Sultan while talking to ‘The News’.

He added that they played even against India because players were peace-loving and sports build up relations between nations. They saw no issue in playing against Israel, he added.

“We cannot ask our players to refuse playing against Israel or any other country. If this is an issue for us we will have to stay away from so many events being organised all over the world every year,” said Tahir.

Israeli athletes and teams have been barred from some competitions due to the conflict between Muslim countries and Israel.

In many worldwide competitions, where Israel does take part, such as the Olympics, some Arab and Muslim competitors avoid competing against Israelis.

In January last year, an Iranian chess grandmaster refused to compete against an Israeli player at a tournament in Switzerland.

At the Rio Olympics in August 2016, a Saudi Arabian judo athlete refused to participate in her first-round match, reportedly to avoid an Israeli competitor in the next round.

Sara Besbes, Tunis and Africa’s fencing champion, refused to play against an Israeli player during the 2011 World Fencing Championship in Catania, southern Italy.

In August last year, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby competed against Israeli Or Sasson, but after Sasson won, El Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand. He walked away to boos from the crowd as Sasson’s arm was outstretched.

Also, it was reported that Tunisia’s tennis federation ordered the country’s top player to withdraw from a match against an Israeli at a tournament in Uzbekistan.

Malek Jaziri had been scheduled to play Israel’s Amir Weintraub in the quarter-finals of an ATP Challenger tournament in Tashkent. He withdrew before the match and Weintraub advanced to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, England, the 2013 champions, will defend the title they won in Mulhouse.

The 2015 championship, which was due to be staged first in Kuwait and then in Egypt, was postponed and ultimately cancelled.

The 2017 championship entry list features Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong China, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, USA and Wales.