By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
As squash players in many parts of the UK celebrated a return to the courts yesterday after a prolonged lockdown, the World Squash Federation announced that the 2021 World Junior Championships, due to take place in Egypt in August, has been postponed due to the ongoing impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The decision has been made by the WSF Board of Directors following the recommendation of the WSF Junior Commission.
The WSF will work closely with the Egyptian Squash Federation with the aim of holding the tournament later this year should international travel restrictions be relaxed.
WSF Chief Executive William Louis-Marie said: “Whilst we are naturally disappointed to postpone the World Junior Squash Championships, the situation surrounding international travel and the health and safety issues that remain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic make postponing the tournament a logical choice.
“We believe that by postponing the tournament, we can focus our efforts on creating a safe environment to compete, while giving all of our Member Federations equal opportunity to enter teams into the championships. At the moment, the differing travel restrictions affecting countries around the world makes this impossible.
“We are in close contact with the Egyptian Squash Federation to find alternative dates later on in the year, and we hope to be able to provide a further update in the coming months.”
Egyptian Squash Federation President Assem Khalifa said: “Our objective is to bring the best junior players in the world to Egypt for the WSF World Junior Squash Championships and postponing the tournament to later this year will enable us to do so, which is important to support the squash community in these trying times.
“I have full confidence in our capacity to host the tournament later on in 2021 and look forward to welcoming the juniors from all over the world and giving them a taste of the Egyptian culture.”
While England’s vaccination programme is being successfully deployed, the spread of Covid is still accelerating in many other parts of the world.
Latest data on deaths attributed to Covid shows the USA with 562,000, followed by Brazil (354,000), Mexico (209,000), India (170,000), UK (127,000), Italy (115,000), Russia (102,000), France (99,000), Germany (79,000) and Spain (77,000).
Yesterday’s figures showed the global number of deaths at close to three million. The latest daily figures showed just 13 deaths reported yesterday in the UK.
Picture courtesy of WSF