US Squash has informed the World Squash Federation (WSF) today that it will withdraw from the 2015 World Men’s Team Championship scheduled to begin December 12 in Cairo, Egypt. Notice was provided in a letter from England Squash noting that the U.S. as well as defending champions England, along with Canada, Germany and France would all withdraw due to security concerns. In the letter, WSF was urged to re-schedule and re-locate the event.
Originally planned for Kuwait, the event was quickly relocated to Egypt several weeks ago after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Kuwait national Olympic committee for the second time in five years. The WSF in turn suspended the Kuwait Squash Federation, and sought a new host for the upcoming event.
Only days after the announcement to relocate to Egypt, the Russian commercial jet departing Sharm el-Sheikh was bombed, and soon after, the terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris and Bamako, Mali took place. Last week, the U.S. State Department issued an unusual worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens through February 2016 due to possible risks and increased terrorist threats.
In reaching out directly to the Egyptian Squash Association regarding withdrawing the U.S. team, US Squash President and CEO Kevin Klipstein wrote, “We understand the considerable work and preparation involved in hosting this event, and had no intent on creating an inconvenience in any way…Given [the State Department’s] advisory and our general concern for the safety and well-being of the team, we made this difficult decision to withdraw.”
Earlier this year, WSF re-located the 2015 World Junior Championships from Egypt to Holland due to travel concerns expressed by many of the participating countries.