The International Aquatics Federation (Fina) has elected to move its World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships out of Israel due to the “unstable and unpredictable” situation in the region.
The second edition of the Championships was due to take place in the city of Eilat from August 28-30. However, it has now been cancelled with Fina proposing a new venue of Lake Balaton in Hungary, with the event to be staged from September 5-7.
Fina said: “This exceptional decision was also dictated by notes of concern from various Fina National Member Federations related to the security of their athletes and officials.”
Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city and is located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. Fina’s decision comes with the Middle East conflict between Israel and Gaza showing no sign of easing.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today (Monday) called for an immediate end to violence in Gaza, saying the Palestinian territory is in a “critical condition”. Ban criticised both sides for firing into civilian areas. Eilat is located over 200km south of Gaza.