IPC strips Malaysia of hosting games due to the ban of Israelis; IPC cites discrimination and politics.
Malaysia was stripped of hosting the World Paralympic Swimming Championships in 2019.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed over the weekend that Kuching will not host the games because of banning Israelis from competing. The event will be moved to a new location to be announced in the coming weeks.
President of the IPC, Andrew Parsons, confirmed Malaysia would be replaced due to its discrimination. He stated over the weekend, “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.”
Malaysia claims its ban of Israelis competing is in “solidarity with the Palestinians”, Malaysian Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman claiming “Malaysia stands firm with our decision on the ground of humanity and compassion for the Palestinian plight. We will not compromise.”
Last month, Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad confirmed Israelis would be denied entry to Malaysia and that “If they do come, it is a violation,” stating at the time, “If they (IPC) want to withdraw Malaysia’s right to host the championship, they can do so.”
The games are a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and will include over 600 swimmers from over 70 nations.
This is not the first time Malaysia has banned Israelis, particularly athletes, from entry to its country. In 2015, two Israeli windsurfers were denied entry to the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship. In 2016, Israel’s Table Tennis Association was also forced to pull its athletes from the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur.