France building momentum for Olympic push
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
Marseille Deputy Mayor of Sports Richard Miron revealed that the 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship will be the closing event in the French city’s celebrations as the European Capital of Sports 2017 – adding that it was the “only international one.”
The announcement came at the Opening Ceremony of the 25th staging of the biennial World Squash Federation championship at Salle Vallier in Marseille, where the second phase of matches will take place on an all-glass showcourt from Thursday (November 30).
Jean-Denis Barbet, president of the French Squash Federation, started by honouring the memory of the 305 people who were killed in the attack at the mosque of Bir el-Abed in Egypt on Friday, and a minute’s silence was observed.
World Squash Federation Jacques Fontaine also highlighted that the World Team Championship is a great opportunity to showcase the sport within the context of the sport’s Olympic bid – in a campaign that will be led jointly by the WSF and the Professional Squash Association.
“It is very fitting that the competition is taking place in Marseille, which will host sailing events in the 2024 Olympics Games,” Fontaine explained.
The 24 squads and their team officials were also introduced – led by France, who are hoping to clinch a first ever World Team title and become the first hosts to win the trophy since Australia in 2001.
The 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Championship gets underway today at Modern Squash in Marseille.
Free live streaming, provided by Squash TV, will be available from the glass courts at both venues – via the event website www.wsfmensteams.com/
Men’s WSF World Team Championship 2017, Salle Vallier, Marseille, France.
Pool line-ups (with seeding in brackets)
Pool A:  EGYPT,  SWITZERLAND,  PAKISTAN
Pool B:  ENGLAND,  FINLAND,  ARGENTINA
Pool C:  FRANCE,  CANADA,  IRELAND
Pool D:  AUSTRALIA,  WALES,  CZECH REPUBLIC
Pool E:  HONG KONG CHINA,  SPAIN,  IRAQ
Pool F:  NEW ZEALAND,  USA,  SOUTH AFRICA
Pool G:  GERMANY,  SCOTLAND,  JAMAICA
Pool H:  INDIA,  MALAYSIA,  AUSTRIA
Pictures courtesy WSF