Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 September 2019

Malaysia stripped of world para swim championships over Israel stance

The championships were due to take place in Kuching in July

Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Wednesday, January 16, 2019. AP
Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Wednesday, January 16, 2019. AP

Malaysia has been barred from hosting the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships for refusing to let Israeli athletes compete, the International Paralympic Committee said on Sunday.

The decision was taken "after the Home Ministry of Malaysia failed to provide the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate, free from discrimination, and safely in the Championships," the IPC said.

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: "When a host country excludes athletes from a particular nation, for political reasons, then we have absolutely no alternative but to look for a new Championships host.

"All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination."

The championships were due to take place in Kuching on July 29-August 4.

Israeli officials celebrated the decision.

Earlier this month, Malaysia – a Muslim majority country – said it would "not host events" that have Israeli participation, with Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah saying: "It is about fighting on behalf of the oppressed".

Updated: January 27, 2019 04:34 PM

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