The PSA has announced that Nouran Gohar has been withdrawn from the women’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open after breaching PSA’s COVID-19 protocols.
Gohar was due to play Olivia Blatchford Clyne in the third round of the PSA World Tour Platinum event tonight, but Blatchford will now receive a walkover into the quarter-finals.
We are told that Nouran spent a long time in the Hotel Gym, which is not allowed by the rules we are asked to follow.
A few players saw her there we are told, her presence was confirmed by the security data, and the breach having been reported to the PSA by a player, the governing body then had no other choice than to apply the rule to the letter.
Rules, rules… fine lines sometimes between what we allow, what we choose to close our eyes on, what we punished. Must have been a pretty harsh decision to take and a hard conversation to have.
Strict COVID-19 protocols are currently in place at every PSA World Tour event. All players and staff must provide a negative PCR test prior to travelling to a tournament before taking a further PCR test upon arrival. Once a negative result has been received, that person is then allowed to enter the tournament bubble. During the tournament, players are prohibited from entering areas outside of the bubble or coming into contact with people who are not in the bubble.
“We have put in place strict COVID-19 protocols at all PSA World Tour events in order to protect the wellbeing of our players, referees and staff,” said PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill.
“The reaction from the players to our protocols has been phenomenal and their understanding and discipline has played a key role in us not receiving a single positive test for a player across the six events that have taken place since the restart.
“However, we take any breach of these protocols very seriously, so we have had to make the regrettable decision to withdraw Nouran from the tournament. Nouran is naturally disappointed but has acknowledged she has made a mistake.”