KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has dismissed allegations on social media that Israeli players will be allowed to play in the 2021 Malaysian Open.
BAM in reply to netizens on its official Facebook and Twitter pages said that the entry of the players concerned was never approved.
“Not true. For the record, the entry of these players was never approved in line with our national policy.
“The draw was made by the BWF (World Badminton Federation) based on the M&Q (Main and Qualifications) report, and was also never approved,” according to BAM.
Earlier, a viral post on social media claimed that Israeli mother-son mixed doubles pair, Misha Zilberman, 32, and Svetlana Zilberman, 63, would be participating in the Malaysian Open, which prior to its postponement, was among the tournaments that offered qualifying points for the Tokyo Olympics this July.
According to a screenshot from the BWF website, the world number 141 pair was drawn against world number three duo Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping of China in the first round of the competition.
The tournament, previously scheduled from May 25 to 30 at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, has been postponed to a later date due to the increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide and is no longer offering qualification points for the Olympics.
It is understood BAM had rejected an application from the pair made through a club last month, as it was against the country’s policy of having no diplomatic ties with Israel.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) in a statement informed that BAM was aware of the matter which had been communicated to BWF, and the draw results released on the BWF website were never approved by BAM or KBS for the purpose of the players’ entry into Malaysia.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican stressed that it was a condition that had long been applied in line with the country’s foreign policy.
“This includes the ban on participation or involvement from the state of Israel without any compromise,” he said in the same statement. — Bernama