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WSF News

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WSF accuses IOC of ‘closing off’ Games entry

The World Squash Federation (WSF) has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of “closing off” the opportunity for “new, genuine sports” to gain entry to the Olympics.

The accusation follows the IOC’s decision to reject a WSF request to discuss squash’s Paris 2024 Games snub and the lack of explanation for the sport’s latest Olympic setback from the Paris 2024 Organising Committee.

WSF president Jacques Fontaine, in conjunction with PSA chairman Ziad Al-Turki, wrote to both IOC sport director Kit McConnell and Paris 2024 Organising Committee president Tony Estanguet after the outcome was announced.

McConnell responded by saying that the choice was made by Paris 2024, but no reply was received from Estanguet and the request for a meeting to discuss the situation was not accepted by the IOC.

In a statement to Squash Player, the WSF commented: “National and regional federations, the Professional Squash Association and the World Squash Federation – i.e. an established and structured sport that adheres to the Olympic requirements with a strong professional Tour – deserved clear answers, not only for them, but also for the athletes.

“Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Paris 2024 OC have not responded to the request for an explanation to the squash governing bodies.

“In terms of context, it should be emphasised that we feel we totally deserve a place, as we fulfil the known criteria and we and the PSA tailored our presentation to demonstrate that squash was perfectly fitting with them.

“Public statements from the IOC and Paris 2024 – and during several conversations that Jacques and vice-president Pablo Serna had with Paris 2024 at SportAccord in Gold Coast and in Paris – defended the process used to select the sports, even though we pointed out that both the criteria used and the process timings had changed.”

The WSF pointed out that a recent interview with the French website, Francs Jeux, given by a representative of the International Federation of Dance Sport Federation (IFDSF), aired some “interesting” new information.

The IFDSF representative was quoted as saying: “It cannot be said that we really were a candidate with breakdance. Things did not happen like this. In summer 2018 the IOC sent us a dossier. Then we waited for a call from Paris 2024. At the beginning of this year the OGOC (of Paris 2024) contacted us to tell us that they wanted to meet us.”

The WSF added: “Naturally, we made clear our disappointment that the opportunity for new genuine sports to gain entry was being closed off.

“It is a costly business to mount a strategized and comprehensive bid, which is needed to give it the best chance of success, but the IOC and hosts have not offered any compensation for all the many sports who, like us, failed to be selected.

“We are convinced that bids of additional sports to join the greatest multi-sports event on earth deserve more than an uncertain criteria and process, where legitimate requests are met with silence.”

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