World Junior Championships cancelled in Egypt after Tunisian terrorist attacks provoke fears in squash community
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
The World Junior Championships, scheduled to start in Cairo in July, have been cancelled because of rising fears over terrorist attacks in the region. The decision follows recent attacks on tourists in neighbouring Tunisia.
The championships had been scheduled to take place in Cairo from July 25 to August 4, with the host nation hoping to continue recent successes in junior squash.
However, parents and federations had expressed concern at visiting the region, prompting the World Squash Federation to announce: “It is an inappropriate time for teams of youngsters to travel to Egypt”.
The WSF confirmed that concerns had been expressed about “extreme radicalism in the region, not specific to Egypt,” highlighted by the killing of tourists in Tunisia, reportedly carried out by IS terrorists.
The decision is a major blow for Egyptian squash, coming three months after the Women’s World Championships were successfully staged in Cairo at the Wadi Degla Club.
The WSF Championships Committee Chairman Hugo Hannes (right), from Belgium, reported on their website: “During the last few weeks the WSF has been reviewing and evaluating the World Junior Championships in Cairo, reading and listening to the many comments and concerns from our Member National Federations.
“Today the Board has come to the conclusion that, due to the perception of some parents about the extreme radicalism in the region – not specific to Egypt and heightened by the tragic killing of tourists in Tunisia – and because of the pressure of those parents on their Federation, it is an inappropriate time for teams of youngsters to travel to Egypt to compete in the World Junior Championships in Cairo from 25 July – 4 August.
“The Championships will be relocated if possible.
“The decision to cancel the event in Cairo has been taken with reluctance but, based upon prevailing circumstances, we feel it is the prudent approach.
“While appreciating and thanking the Egyptian Squash Federation for all their efforts in preparing for the event, the WSF hopes that the Egyptian Squash Federation understands the need to have the event relocated.
“The probable intention of a number of countries not to send their players and teams would have affected the World Championships enormously and would not have been good for squash in general nor for the Egyptian Squash Federation in particular. It is hoped that WSF will be able to return to the country with another Championship in the not too distant future.
“At this time WSF is encouraging any prospective hosts, who may be able to maintain the dates and participating nation cost levels, to let us know of their interest in the event.”