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Malaysia stripped of hosting World Para Swimming Championships after banning Israeli competitors

Malaysia have imposed a blanket ban on Israeli athletes competing in the country

Tom Kershaw
Monday 28 January 2019 14:14 GMT
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The IPC have confirmed they are now looking for alternative host cities
The IPC have confirmed they are now looking for alternative host cities (Getty)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has stripped Malaysia of its right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships after the country upheld its ban on Israeli athletes participating.

In January, Malaysia imposed a cross-sport ban on Israeli athletes attending events in the country and were warned they would no longer be able to host the championships if the decision was not reversed.

“All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination,” Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, said in a statement.

“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.”

Malaysia’s cabinet also confirmed that Israelis would not be able to attend any sporting events as supporters.

“Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they will not be allowed [into the country],” Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullahw was heard saying on a recording by Reuters.

Speaking to BBC’s HARDtalk in October, Syed Sadiq, the country’s minister of youth and sports, said Malaysia would have “lost our moral conscience and moral compass” if hosting the championships was “more important than safeguarding the interest of our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are being mutilated time after time again”.

The IPC have confirmed they are now looking for alternative host cities and are confident the championships will still go ahead in the summer. The event is a qualifier for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

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