Sunday, October 1, 2023

World squash events held over from 2020 are cancelled

World squash events held over from 2020 are cancelled
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor

Squash is suffering a hangover from 2020 with major events postponed last year by the World Squash Federation now cancelled altogether.

The WSF and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) announced today that the 2020 WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship, which was originally scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur in December before being postponed until 2021, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the WSF has confirmed that the 2020 WSF World Junior Squash Championships, which had been postponed from its original dates on Australia’s Gold Coast in July, 2020, will no longer go ahead.

Deaths from Covid are approaching 100,000 in the UK, with more than 400,000 recorded in the USA.

Here in England, the government today revealed that the current lockdown restrictions could well extend beyond March and into the summer.

This has led to the Glastonbury music festival, scheduled for June, cancelled for a second year.

The Tokyo Olympics, held over from last year because of the global pandemic, is also in doubt. With Japan continuing to suffer high infection rates, a recent survey showed that 80 per cent of the population wanted the Games cancelled completely. The IOC, however, insists that events will still go ahead in July, despite athletes from all over the world expressing fears about travel, quarantine issues and crowd control.

All of these issues illustrate the enormous difficulties faced by the PSA in relaunching the World Tour in a meaningful fashion.

The WSF had been working closely with SRAM to find alternative dates in March and April for the Women’s World Team Championship following the postponement from December, and the two organisations were also in discussions to hold the postponed World Junior Championships alongside the team championships.

However, due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that Kuala Lumpur has now been placed under Movement Control Order, the WSF and SRAM have made the difficult decision to cancel both tournaments.

The WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship first took place in 1979 and the 2020 instalment, which was due to be held at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre, would have been the 22nd edition of the WSF’s flagship women’s event.

“The decision to cancel the WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship and the WSF World Junior Squash Championships was a difficult but necessary decision to ensure that we could safeguard the health of all players, coaches and fans,” said WSF Chief Executive William Louis-Marie.

“I’d like to thank the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia for their hard work in planning the Women’s World Team Championship since 2018 and for their efforts in attempting to rearrange once it became clear that holding the tournament in December would not be viable.

“Our focus now moves on to delivering the rest of our events in 2021 and putting in place a robust calendar of events, culminating with the 2021 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship, which will take place New Zealand in December of this year.”​ 

Picture courtesy of WSF


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