Squash: Rebels vindicated

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THE BOYCOTT of the national championships in January by most of the leading English players has achieved a notable victory, writes Richard Eaton. The rebels will be allowed to represent England after all, following yesterday's announcement that the governing body in this country, the Squash Rackets Association, had agreed to back down over the selection criterion that had been one of the major causes of the dispute.

This criterion said that players had to participate in the nationals if they were to be considered for England. But yesterday the chairman of the SRA, Paul Turton, said: 'It is accepted that with hindsight the decision about England's team selection criteria was (although taken with the best of intentions) wrong. It is acknowledged that the subsequent problems between the SRA and professional players have all stemmed from this initial decision.'

The British Squash Professionals' Association, which was formed from the boycotting group, has said it now hopes to work in partnership with the SRA. This means England will be able to select full teams both for next month's European championships in Aix-en-Province, where they will be expected to regain the title, and for the world championships in Karachi in November, when they will be contending for a medal. The chief executive of the SRA, Chris Gotla, who conducted most of the negotiations with the players, announced his resignation on Wednesday.