England Squash and Racketball announced today that the finals of the British Open will be staged at the O2 Arena in May 2012.
The sponsor, Egyptian businessman Assem Allan, is the owner of Hull City Football Club. He is building a sports village next to the football stadium and plans to move the Open to Hull from 2013 onwards.
England Squash and Racketball issued the following release today:
England Squash & Racketball announces Egyptian-born East Yorkshire based entrepreneur Dr. Assem Allam as the new Title Partner for The Allam British Open Championships, which culminates at the O2 Arena in May 2012.
A world class event, The Allam British Open brings together the world’s top male and female players, including England’s World Champion and World No 1 Nick Matthew and Malaysia’s Nicol David, the pre-eminent female player of her generation, in a sensational prelude to London’s summer of sport featuring the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The three year agreement cements Dr. Allam’s growing commitment to sport following his recent much publicised purchase of Hull City Football Club. The event will reside in London in 2012 while Dr. Allam furthers his plans to build a multi-million pound sports complex in Hull. The complex will feature a world class squash centre which is intended to host the Allam British Open in 2013 and 2014, tennis and gymnastics facilities, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a hotel.
Commenting on the British Open announcement and his £100 million development project, Dr. Allam said, “The Sports Village is something I want to do for the community. The idea behind it is that it will become a day out for the family.
“I am delighted our company is able to back one of the world’s most important and best known championships of its kind. We look forward to welcoming the British Open to Hull, East Yorkshire, where it will be a flagship event at the Sports Village bringing many people to the region.”
Sheffield-born World Number One Nick Matthew said, “It’s fantastic to see Dr. Allam’s enthusiasm for the sport demonstrated in this way. The British Open is a national treasure and his backing will ensure that it maintains its position as the world’s most prestigious squash tournament and bring the best players to compete in the UK.”
Jahangir Khan, ten times winner of the British Open and a legend in the sport, added, “It is fantastic to see the British Open – the most prestigious squash event in the world – coming back to the PSA calendar and taking its rightful place at the heart of our sport. Every squash player in the world dreams of taking part in these wonderful championships.”
Nick Rider, Chief Executive of England Squash & Racketball said, “Dr. Allam’s support for squash is unequalled and we look forward to delivering an event that will reward his vision and reflect spectacularly on his brand. His intervention at this time has secured the future of one of the most important events in the World Series and will be applauded by players and by squash fans world-wide.”
The Allam British Open is expected to reach out to more than 25 million people in 172 countries and will touch almost every community in the UK, interacting with fans at all levels of the game across the globe.