Earlier this year the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stripped Malaysia of the right to host the World Para Swimming Championships and awarded the job to London.
The championships were originally to start in late July in Sarawak but was embroiled in controversy after the government announced it would not allow Israeli athletes to compete.
For the record, Mark Malyar, the 19-year-old Israeli with cerebral palsy, claimed a gold medal in the 400m freestyle S7 in London earlier this month.
Whilst it was the prerogative of the government, it would certainly put a damper on future hopes of Malaysia bidding for major international sporting events. Especially so, after the International Olympic Council (IOC) stand against a similar situation in India.
The IOC had recommended that all international sports federations cease holding any ‘Olympic-related’ events in India until the entry of athletes from all countries was guaranteed. This was following India’s refusal to grant visas to Pakistan’s three-member shooting team to participate in India.
It was the third such incident in India in less than a year and the IOC urged sports federations not to host any event in the country until guarantees over the participation of all athletes were provided.
Adhering ot the call, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is also considering moving the men’s boxing world championship scheduled to be held in New Delhi in 2021.
Coming back to Malaysia, if the policy is not reviewed, there could be repercussions as Malaysia looks to bid for world class events.
Forget about the joint Asean bid for the 2034 World Cup as Israel are members of the FIFA and one can never predict their qualification chances in the future.
When Indonesia hosted the Badminton World Championships in 2015, they had no choice but to grant Israel’s top ranked player Misha Ziberman visa to compete at the tournament. With Malaysia, as a traditional badminton nation, almost certain of hosting a future world championships, would they be as accomodative?
Malaysia has been talking about hosting the Commonwealth Games as well as the Asian Games in the future. Israel are not members of either groupings but Malaysia’s stance on the matter may still affect the bidding process should the IOC show their displeasure.
The Olympics would definitely be a no go zone as many Israelis participate at the prestigious event and the IOC would most definitely not be happy if they are barred from entering.