The parents of Switzerland squash player Ambre Allinckx, who reportedly “pulled out” from the ongoing WSF-World Junior Squash Championship here owing to safety concerns, have said “they never were concerned about safety in India” contrary to what was published in the media.
In fact, Ambre’s parents went to the extent of terming the news report as a “lie or a journalistic invention.”
The Swiss girl coming under fire after a media report claimed that she had pulled out of the tournament in Chennai, owing to safety concerns, her parents chose to clarify in a message to a squash website.
“Ambre Allinckx couldn’t make it because her parents did not want her to make the trip,” Swiss coach Pascal Bhurin had been quoted then.
According to a release sent by Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), Allinckx’s parents Igor and Valerie clarified in a message to squashsite.co.uk, a leading squash website, that “we, as parent, never were concerned about safety in India. This is a lie or a journalist invention.”
“We wanted to have summer holidays as a family and due to the father (Igor) work this has to take place in July. So nothing in our decision was about safety. Ambre has already travel to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Poland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, etc and we never considered India as a place more dangerous that these ones. We never read articles or saw TV emission about this. Again, this is speculation, or invention,” they wrote.
They also wrote that it had been decided in September last year not to send the girl to the tournament for two reasons and also they had not read about India being a “dangerous place.”
“We decided already in September last year not to send Ambre to this year Junior World Championship for two reasons. She is still young as she turned 16 in March. She played the European U-17 Team this year and will play World Junior in the next 2 years. Last year, at the season end, she was very tired so we didn’t want to physically over charge her,” they clarified.
The Swiss player’s parents also said they would be delighted to visit India on another occasion.
“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!”
Earlier, World Squash Federation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Shelley had responded with an “all well” note to clear the atmosphere and said “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.”
Chennai is hosting the World Junior Squash Championship for men and women (under-19) and the team championship (for men) at ISA courts and the Express Avenue Mall.
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