LONDON — The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships after the country banned Israeli athletes from participating.
The championships, a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, had been scheduled to take place in Kuching between July 29 and Aug. 4.
The IPC said a new venue would be sought for the same dates, although there might have to be some flexibility in light of the late change.
“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 after a meeting of the IPC governing board in London.
“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, a majority-Muslim country that does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, announced this month that it would bar Israelis from any event held in the Southeast Asian nation.
Israel had condemned the ban as ‘shameful’ and said the decision was inspired by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s “rabid anti-Semitism”.