The 2015 Men’s World Team Squash Championships, due to take place later this month in the Egyptian capital Cairo, has been postponed, it was announced today.
It followed an attack earlier today when petrol bombs were thrown into a nightclub, killing 16 people.
Egyptian Squash Federation President Assem Khalifa claimed, however, the decision was more linked to the withdrawal earlier in the week of several countries from the tournament, including defending champions England.
They had been joined by Canada, Finland, France, Germany and the United States.
“We request this postponement with a heavy heart as Cairo is a safe city,” he said.
“All arrangements for the holding of the event are in place, including full Government support to ensure protection as would be afforded to visiting VIPS, and so there is no reason for the Championship not to proceed.
“However we are mindful that some teams did not wish to attend the Championship for their own reasons and wish to end any uncertainty for other nations in a positive way by postponing until a later date.
"It pains us to do so as there is no reason for this and many teams have incurred costs, but it is something we must do to be fair to all.”
The World Squash Federation (WSF) had criticised the decision of the teams who had withdrawn from the tournament, due to take place at Al Ahly Club between December 12 and 18, as "both disappointing and a little difficult to understand".
They had claimed there had been "no security threat there".
The decision to postpone the event, already moved from Kuwait, followed today's pre-dawn attack on the El-Sayad club and restaurant in Cairo's city centre.
The attack reportedly followed an argument between employees and a group of youths at the nightclub.
“It is distressing that this event in the wonderful city of Cairo is being postponed," said WSF President N Ramachandran.
"We can only thank the Egyptian Federation again for stepping in to take it on at short notice after the Kuwait NOC suspension by IOC required us to relocate.
“We will liaise with all member nations after we have taken stock of the position.
"For now we accept the decision of our esteemed Egyptian partners and express our disappointment to them and the many nations that were in expectation of what would have been a superb Championship.”
December 2015: Squash World Championships in Kuala Lumpur and Cairo thrown into doubt by security threats