Malaysia Stripped of Hosting Paralympics Championship Over Ban of Israelis

The Muslim country had recently moved to impose a blanket ban on all Israelis from entering for any event

FILE Photo: An Israeli swimmer competing in the Paralympic Games.
AP

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Sunday stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 world para swimming championships after the country banned Israeli athletes from participating. 

"All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination," said IPC president Andrew Parsons 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." 

Earlier this month, Malaysia imposed a blanket ban on all Israelis participating in events hosted by the Southeast Asian nation, as the government maintains its decision to ban Israeli athletes from taking part in the World Para Swimming Championships in July.

Malaysia’s cabinet decided in January that Israelis will not be allowed to enter the country for any event, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Wednesday.

“Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they will not be allowed (into the country),” he said in a recording of a press conference heard by Reuters.

Swimmers from some 70 countries are expected to compete at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in the eastern state of Sarawak from July 29-August 4.