Squash: Jahangir emerges as a diplomat: Welsh referee accused of racism after English player's victory

Click to follow
The Independent Online
JAHANGIR KHAN made a valuable contribution to the Qatar International here yesterday even before his long-awaited comeback after a nine-month injury. Jahangir helped calm the atmosphere when his compatriot, Abdul Fahim Khan, accused the referee of racism after losing a first-round match to England's Tony Hands.

Abdul, a Pakistani who represents Hong Kong, had a penalty stroke awarded against him by the Welsh referee, Peter Lawrence, when Hands's backswing on the backhand appeared to have been impeded. The loser was livid after his 15-9, 15-8, 15-14 defeat. 'It's white skins against black skins', he said.

Jahangir thought otherwise: 'A referee can just make a bad decision without it being based on colour,' he said. Hands did not think the referee deserved even this limited criticism. 'Any other point of the game and that decision would have been accepted,' he said.

Abdul is to be reported to the Professional Squash Asspciation for his remarks.

Jahangir will today play against Paul Lord, the Cheshire player who reached the final of last month's US Open as a qualifier, and who came through qualifying here too.

It was a good day for England, with Peter Marshall and Phil Whitlock coming through to meet each other in the second round. Earlier they learned that Pakistan, intent on regaining the world team title in Karachi in two weeks time, have been removed from their group after a protest prompted the World Squash Federation to revert to the original draw, which had placed Pakistan in the same group as the holders, Australia.

The WSF had changed this after promoting Pakistan from eighth to sixth in the seedings on the grounds that with Jahangir playing they were significantly stronger than two years ago. But the protesters felt that the revised draw was unfair.