The Pakistani squad – two of whom were expected to reach the semi-finals – has been forced to withdraw from this week’s WSF Men’s World Junior Individual Squash Championship in Belgium following problems in obtaining visas.
The 18th staging of the World Squash Federation championship will take place at the Flemish Squash Centre inHerentals from 13-17 July.
Danish Atlas Khan and Nasir Iqbal, both 17-year-olds from Peshawar, were originally named as the two 3/4 seeds. Khan is the reigning Asian Junior champion, with three PSA World Tour titles to his credit, while Iqbal, a former Asian U15 champion, already boasts two Tour titles.
“Whilst the realities of visa difficulties for players from some countries are a regular obstacle, it is very sad for the players concerned,” commented WSF CEO Andrew Shelley.
“They have spent years building up to the pinnacle of their junior career, and with Khan and Iqbal seeded in the top four, were poised to medal for themselves and Pakistan. We feel for them.”
Egypt’s Amr Khaled Khalifa is set to become only third man in history to win the title twice when he defends his crown in Belgium this week.
The 18-year-old from Cairo is expected to face Marwan El Shorbagy, the 17-year-old second seed from Alexandria, in an all-Egyptian final.
Updated 1st round draw:
 Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) bye
Marc ter Sluis (NED) v Kush Kumar (IND)
[9/16] Fares Dessouki (EGY) v Tom Lucas (NED)
Damien Volland (FRA) v Abdulaziz Ahmad Kanaan (KUW)
[5/8] Ramit Tandon (IND) v Aqeel Ashkanani (KUW)
Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) v Felipe Tovar (COL)
[9/16] Michael McCue (CAN) v Christoph Winzer (NED)
Abhishek Pradhan (IND) v Remo Handl (SUI)
[5/8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Vrishab Kotian (IND)
Juan Vargas (COL) v Michal Valenta (CZE)
Arthur Moineau (FRA) bye
Oliver Holland (ENG) v Manuel Wanner (SUI)
[5/8] James Earles (ENG) v Toon van Baekel (BEL)
Matthew Roberts (RSA) v Quint Mandil (FRA)
Alexandre Cogno (FRA) v Roshan Bharos (NED)
Valentin Rapp (GER) bt Salman Mohib (PAK) w/o
Greg Lobban (SCO) v Joel Siewerdt (SUI)
[9/16] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY) v Antonio de la Torre (GUA)
Yousef Saleh (KUW) v Santiago Sevilla (ECU)
[9/16] Tom de Mulder (BEL) v Alfonso Marroquin (COL)
Dylan Murray (USA) v Yannick Lindemann (SUI)
[9/16] Jerome Dadot (FRA) v Adam Auckland (ENG)
Ernesto Davila (ECU) v Josue Enriquez (GUA)
[5/8] Declan James (ENG) v Yousif Ali (KUW)
Cedric Kuchen (SUI) v Guido Ploem (NED)
[9/16] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) v Thomas Dembinski (USA)
Johannes Herz (GER) v Durandt Martin (RSA)
[9/16] Nicholas Hopcroft (ENG) v Liam McClintock (USA)
Andres de Frutos (COL) bye
[9/16] Tyler Osborne (CAN) v Edward Columbia (USA)
Martin Svec (CZE) v Faraz Khan (USA)
 Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) v Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL)
Official event website: www.wjm2011.be