Malaysia stripped of hosting 2019 World Paralympic-Swimming championships over anti-Semitism
Malaysia has been stripped of hosting the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships after the country banned Israeli athletes from attending, says the International Paralympic Committee.
Swimmers from some 70 countries are expected to compete in the event which is an important milestone towards next year’s Tokyo Paralympics. The championships had been scheduled for Kuching between Jul 29 and Aug 4.
The majority-Muslim country does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
“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,” said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons.
“All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination.”
“Politics and sport are never a good mix and we are disappointed that Israeli athletes would not have been allowed to compete in Malaysia,” Parsons added.
Malaysian anti-Semitic Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who described Jews as “hook-nosed” and blamed them for creating all the troubles in the Middle East in a BBC interview last October, imposed the ban on Israeli athletes two weeks ago.
Syed Sadiq, Malaysia’s minister of youth and sports, has defended his country’s anti-Semitic decision saying that Malaysia would have “lost our moral conscience and moral compass” if hosting an international sporting event was more important than hating Jews.