The World Junior Squash Championships are currently underway in Chennai. But the contingent from Switzerland is a depleted with one, with their top-ranked player Ambre Allinckx not coming to India for safety reasons.
A report in the New Indian Express states that Allinckx’s parents did not want her to come to India after reading reports about the number of crimes against women in the country.
Pascal Bhurin, the Swiss coach, was quoted as saying in the report, “Ambre Allinckx is our top-ranked women’s player. She couldn’t make it because her parents did not want her to travel to India.”
He added, “They have been reading reports on the internet about how unsafe India is for women and didn’t want to take the risk of sending their daughter over. However, we have not experienced any disturbance so far.”
It has been reported that teams from Iran, Australia and the United States of America have also expressed concerns regarding the matter and that the players in the contingents have been advised to dress conservatively in order to keep a low profile.
Most recently, 17 men were arrested in Chennai for raping an 11-year-old.
Andrew Shelley, the Chief Executive of the World Squash Federation (WSF), responded to the report as well. He was quoted as saying on the tournament’s official website, “Of course the views and choice of every parent must be fully respected. However, there are over 250 players and officials from 28 countries, including a full squad from Switzerland.”
“Like the WSF, they all have complete confidence with the security arrangements made by Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association at the Championship Hotel and playing venues to ensure the safety of the players at this event,” added Shelley.