The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) canceled the rights of Malaysia to host the World Swimming Pool 2019 to be held in Kuching on July 29 to Aug 4.
The decision was taken at a meeting in London after the Malaysian Interior Ministry failed to provide the assurances required by Israeli swimmers to participate in the championship, free from discrimination and safety in the championship.
IPC president Andrew Parsons explains that all World Championships should be open to all athletes and countries eligible to compete safely and free from discrimination.
He said when the host country did not include athletes from a particular country, on political grounds, it was totally out of the question except finding a new home for the tournament.
“Paralympic movements will always continue, driven by the desire to drive entry, not the exception. Regardless of the country involved in this matter, the IPC will decide equally in the same situation even though the country is different.
“In September 2017 when IPC entered into a contract with the Malaysian Paralympic Council to host the World Swimming Pool Championship, we were assured that all athletes and eligible countries were allowed to participate in this event with their safety guarantee.
“However, there has been a change of political leadership and the new Malaysian government and has different ideas. We are disappointed that Israel’s athletes are not allowed to compete in Malaysia.
“As of today’s, decision, we are looking for a new host for this important World Championship, which is a field for qualifying for the Tokyo Parish-2020 Games,” he said.
“We will strive to maintain the same dates and conditions for the tournament so as not to interfere with the training schedule of athletes aimed at achieving the best level by the end of July and early August.”
IPC Athlete Council chairman Chelsey Gotell, a 12 time Paralympic swimming medalist said that the council received numerous feedbacks from athletes around the world regarding the situation.
“We have discussed all potential outcomes and are in touch with the World Pool Advisory Group to collect their feedback on this situation to ensure athlete’s voice is reflected in the IPC Board’s discussion and decision.”