Following reports of top Switzerland player Ambre Allinckx’s decision of pulling out of the ongoing World Junior Squash Championship in Chennai over safety concerns, the parents of the 16-year-old have clarified that this was not the case and she opted out of the event to take a vacation with the family.

Media reports had suggested that Ambre’s parents did not allow the top ranked Swiss junior to travel to Chennai following reports of how the country was unsafe for women.

“Ambre Allinckx couldn’t make it because her parents did not want her to make the trip,” Swiss coach Pascal Bhurin was quoted as saying by the newspapers. “They have been reading reports on the internet about how unsafe India is for women and didn’t want to take the risk of sending their daughter over. However, we have not experienced any disturbance so far.”

The 16-year-old was inundated with hate messages on social media following the reports and her parents Igor and Valerie Allinckx decided to clear the air through a message to a leading squash website, according to a release sent by the Squash Racquet Federation of India.

The message from the parents reads as follows:

Ambre is right now mobbed in social medias. Actually, we, as parent, NEVER were concerned about safety in India. This is a lie or a journalist invention. We decided already in September last year not to send Ambre to this year Junior World Championship for two reasons. 1/ She is still young as she became 16 in March. She played the European U17 Team this year and will play World Junior the next 2 years. Last year at the season end she was very tired so we didn’t want to physically over charge her. 2/ We wanted, for possibly the last time for the coming years, 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.

— Igor and Valerie Allinckx statement released by SRFI

The parents insisted that they haven’t really read any news reports or followed television news regarding the situation in India and requested people to spare their daughter from all the hate.

“Ambre has already travel to Egypt (and we are there right now), Morroco, Tunisia, Poland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico etc and we never considered India as a place more dangerous than these ones. We never read articles or saw TV emission about this. Again, this is speculation, or invention. 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! Thank you,” they said.

Over 250 players and officials from 28 countries have been participating in the championship and there haven’t been any complaints over their safety so far.