Squash-World No.1 Asal suspended for six weeks for dangerous play

March 22, 2023 12:22 AM AEDT | By Reuters
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March 21 (Reuters) - The world number one player in men's squash, Mostafa Asal, has been suspended for six weeks with immediate effect over incidents of dangerous play, the Professional Squash Association confirmed on Monday.

The 21-year-old Egyptian, who has been involved in a number of incidents in the past few years, will miss the Optasia and British Open tournaments as a result.

"Mr Asal had been charged with two separate breaches of the PSA Code of Conduct 'Dangerous Play' during his quarter-final and semi-final matches at the 2022 CIB Egyptian Open," the PSA said in a statement without elaborating.

The player responded to the news of his suspension with a comment on Facebook, writing: "Ahahahahaha WR 1 Mostafa Asal has been given*. Good luck with your sport".

At the tournament last September, Asal lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champion Ali Farag.

In a separate incident the following month, Asal was disqualified from the U.S. Open after accidentally hitting Frenchman Lucas Serme in the head with the ball in the second round.

In January, Asal became the third-youngest holder of the world number one ranking after Pakistani greats Jahangir Khan (18 years) and Jansher Khan (18 years and six months).

One week later his father Mahmoud Asal was banned from PSA World Tour tournaments until November after a confrontation at the Egyptian Open with the main sponsor of the tournament, with PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough having to intervene.

Also in January, Asal withdrew from the Tournament of Champions in New York citing breathing problems when playing against Frenchman Victor Crouin in the third round.

He later wrote on Facebook that he was under psychological and nervous pressure from those in charge of the game in Egypt.

The Egyptian youth and sports minister then contacted Asal's club Al-Ahly asking it to provide the ministry with any evidence related to the matter.

"The Ministry affirms our support to the player, especially in light of his financial sponsorship from Ezz Steel Company, which is not inconsistent with CIB Bank's sponsorship of other Egyptian players," the Ministry said in the statement. (Reporting by Osama Khairy and Shady Amir; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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