In April 2018, Joshna Chinappa upset Nicol David in the El Gouna World Series Event, marking it as one her career’s most promising wins. The Commonwealth Games 2018-Winner, has a long-standing rivalry with Dipika Pallikal Karthik. Now, Chennai is hosting the 2018 World Junior Squash Championships which began on July 17. The international event has players and officials from 28 nations participating. However, there’s some shocking news from Switzerland. Their top-ranked player, Swiss Ambre Allinckx, has pulled out of this event and isn’t coming to India.
The Switzerland squad, currently in India for the World Junior Squash Championships, has arrived in Chennai without their best bet – 16 year old Ambre Allinckx.
This news came after The New Indian Express reported that the top junior squash champion has pulled out of the event. The non-attendance of Ambre is certainly going to raise a lot of eyebrows.
The New Indian Express report stated that the Swiss No 1 junior player’s parents did not want her to take the risk, after learning about the crimes against women in India.
Swiss coach, Pascal Bhurin, said, “Her parents have read reports on the internet about how unsafe India is for women and didn’t want to take the risk. However, we have not experienced any disturbance so far.”
Andrew Shelley, WSF Chief Executive, said, “Of course the views and choice of every parent is fully respected. However, there are over 250 players and officials from 28 countries, including a full squad from Switzerland.
Not just Ambre Allinckx, even USA, Iran and Australia have raised safety concerns. In fact, they have advised their women players to dress conservatively to avoid attention!
However, in a new turn of events, Ambre Allinckx’s parents have refused that ‘safety’ was the reason behind their daughter’s pull out. This is their formal statement on the issue:
“Ambre is right now mobbed in social medias. Actually, we NEVER were concerned about safety in India. This is a lie or a journalist invention. We decided already in September last year not to send Ambre to this year’s Junior World Championship for two reasons. She is still young as she became 16 in March. We wanted, for possibly the last time for the coming years, to have summer holidays as a family and due to the father. So nothing in our decision was about safety.
Her parents further stated:
“We, the Allinckx family and Ambre, would be delighted to visit India at another occasion. But right now she is shocked that so many people show hate to her. Please stop this! Thank you.”
It’s only fair to remember that 17 men were recently arrested in Chennai for raping an 11-year-old girl.
However, this is not the first time that international sports-women have pulled out of competing in India. In 2009, England team pulled out of the World Badminton Championship citing terror threats. Amber’s case is the first instance where sexual harassment is being cited as a reason for withdrawal.