PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will host the Asian Squash Championships in June after the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) agreed to Squash Rackets Association of Malaysias (SRAM) three conditions.
Hong Kong had been scheduled to stage the championships in mid-April but withdrew because of lack of sponsorship.
Malaysia, when asked to take over, set three conditions.
n The entry fee of US$500 (RM1,900) per team be given to the host nation as subsidy;
n Three international referees be appointed from neighbouring countries instead of from the Middle East as earlier planned; and
n The planned daily allowance of US$100 (RM380) for the three ASF referees and the ASF technical director bescrapped. The amount to be paid will be decided by the host.
SRAM president Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir said yesterday that they had agreed to host the championships with the hope of sweeping all four titles at stake.
This is the second time Malaysia have been asked by the ASF to host the competition. In 2002, India pulled out and Malaysia took over.
Mokhzani said the total amount needed to host the competition was RM125,000 and they were in the midst of getting a sponsor.
The proposed dates for the championships are from June 18-26 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil. We are hosting the event in Bukit Jalil as the Youth and Sports Minister wants us to fully utilise the sporting facilities.
This will be our third attempt to sweep all four titles at stake. Its not an impossible task,'' said Mokhzani.
In Hong Kong in 2000, Malaysia missed out on the womens team title. In 2002, they missed out on the mens title.
Malaysias top man and woman player Ong Beng Hee and Nicol David are favourites to retain the individual titles. World No 14 Beng Hee will be gunning for his third consecutive title while world No 8 Nicol will be going all out to win her fourth straight title.