Current events Canary Wharf Classic and Black Ball Open allowed to go ahead
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
The PSA (Professional Squash Association) have announced the suspension of the World Tour until the end of April due to the widespread effects of the Covid-19 virus.
The release was issued at 11.45 am today, which is finals day at the St.James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic.
The final will go ahead as all current events, including the women’s Black Ball Open in Cairo, will be allowed to continue until completion.
The PSA bulletin says:
Due to the escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) can confirm that all PSA World Tour and PSA Challenger Tour events taking place up to and including the week commencing April 27 will not take place during this period.
The tournaments affected are:
Grasshopper Cup in Zurich, Switzerland
The Lethbridge Pro-Am in Lethbridge, Canada
CIB Egyptian Tour 5 in Cairo, Egypt
Annecy Rose Open in Annecy, France
Infinitum Squash Open in Boston, United States
Subbotnik Open in Moscow, Russia
Colwyn Classic in Colwyn Bay, Wales
Charlottesville Pro Challenger in Charlottesville, United States
Kalo Tortola Classic in Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Hazlow Electronics Rochester Pro Am in Rochester, United States
SOAP Engineering Texas Open Pro Women’s Squash Championships in Houston, United States
Sandgate Squash MS Open in Deagon, Australia
Chief of the Air Staff – Serena Hotels International Squash Championship for Men & Women in Islamabad, Pakistan
Qatar Squash Federation Open in Doha, Qatar
Louisville Open in Louisville, United States
Virgin Gorda Classic in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Life Time Philadelphia Open in Philadelphia, United States
El Gouna International Squash Open in El Gouna, Egypt
Salem Sabah Al-Salem International Squash Championship in Kuwait
T.H. Quinn Cincinnati Queen City Open in Cincinnati, United States
Vernon Optometry Squash Open in Vernon, Canada
West Rand Open in Roodeport, South Africa
HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Indore Leg in Indore, India
SRAM PSA 1 in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia
Assore/Balwin Johannesburg Open in Johannesburg, South Africa
Lima Open in Lima, Peru
Cannon Kirk Squash Open in Dublin, Ireland
Sekisui Open in Kriens, Switzerland
Madison Open in Madison, United States
Richmond Open in Richmond, United States
HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai Leg in Chennai, India
WP Keith Grainger Memorial UCT Squash Open Championships in Cape Town, South Africa
New York Squash Hyder Trophy in New York, United States
The decision comes following the World Health Organisation’s declaration on Wednesday that COVID-19 is a global pandemic, the 30-day travel restriction announced by the United States for foreign nationals from 26 European countries and the numerous local government orders on restrictions, bans or cancellations of public gatherings or events.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make as we know that this will have an impact on our players and PSA Tour promoters,” said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough (pictured).
“However, given the circumstances and the risks involved in international travel in the wake of this global pandemic, we felt that this was the only appropriate action in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all players, promoters, spectators, staff and the wider squash community.
“We will continue to monitor any updates in the directives of government health authorities and will work closely with tournament organisers in order to reschedule their tournaments for later in the year where possible.
“In the meantime, on behalf of everyone associated with the PSA, I would like to extend our condolences to everyone affected by the virus and our thoughts are with them and their families at this difficult time.”
Any further updates will be made in due course.
The World Squash Federation today issued the following statement:
Given the current situation seriously affecting most of our Member National Federations, our partners, the players and their families, the World Squash Federation would like to express its strongest support to our worldwide squash community and the people currently suffering from the Coronavirus pandemic.
So far, most of the International sporting events cancelled or postponed have been due to take place in March, April and May. Nevertheless, as the situation evolves every day, it is impossible to predict whether our events could be organised safely for the players and their entourage, the hosting country and all the volunteers.
Three WSF World Championships are scheduled in 2020 – including the World Junior Championships in July in Australia; the World Masters in August in Poland; and the Women’s World Team Championship in December in Malaysia. We are in constant communication with the three Local Organising Committees to monitor, assess the situation and assist them in providing all the necessary administrative and logistic support.
It is essential to outline that WSF and its MNFs’ activities entirely depend on the decisions of the local authorities, health organisations and governments and we need to abide by the procedures imposed upon all event organisers.
Under the recommendation of Dr Anne Smith, the Chair of the WSF Medical Commission, you will find hereafter the link to the World Health Organisation which lists all the basic proactive measures against the COVID-19 outbreak: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
During these trying times, WSF will show its commitment to the squash world and conduct its business in the most appropriate manner to ensure the security and safety of our community first and foremost.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] should you have any queries.
Pictures courtesy of PSA