The rift within squash on the back of the sport's latest failure to win Olympic inclusion has continued with the establishment of a "Global Task Force" which will function independently from the international governing body, the World Squash Federation (WSF).
A coalition of National Federations has proposed the formation of the Task Force, in partnership with the Professional Squash Association (PSA).
The PSA, which manages the World Tour, has reiterated its belief that the existing WSF structure must be overhauled in order for the sport to progress in the wake of the WSF conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Nice
PSA chairman Ziad Al-Turki and chief executive Alex Gough attended the AGM and challenged WSF leadership on a range of topics, including accountability for the failed Olympic effort.
In addition to a delegate calling for WSF President N. Ramachandran to resign, other questions were raised about his apparent conflict of interest in also leading the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the degree to which the negative press associated with it were a liability to the sport of squash.
The Task Force will look to analyse the current situation globally for squash as well as assess the various roles within the sport that must be in place to ensure a solid foundation for growth.
It will also be supporting the sport’s continued ambitions for Olympic inclusion.
"The professional tour has garnered a huge amount of momentum over the past few years, including the amalgamation between the men’s and women’s tours earlier this year," said Al-Turki.
"Prize money for the tour and awareness of squash is on the ascendancy and women are approaching full parity on compensation and opportunities to compete.
"A clear and concise strategy supported by best practice governance is needed now more than ever to both support the sport at the grassroots and globally, and to ensure that squash fulfils its great potential.
"We will continue to liaise closely with all member nations over the coming weeks and months with the joint goal of developing the strongest possible structure and leadership for the sport."
French Squash Federation President Jacques Fontaine, who introduced a motion at the AGM to form the Task Force, is expected to take a leadership role in the independent initiative.
"While it is always preferred to operate within the current structure to effect change, we see advantages to working directly and closely with other federations and the Pro Tour to determine the best path forward for governing squash," Fontaine said.
"France has made progress in the sport, both at the grassroots, in its elite programs, and hosting major international competitions, and we would like to see progress of this kind at the global level.
"The more clearly we articulate roles among all the parties involved, and empower National Federations to work in partnership with the professionals managing squash and the Pro Tour, the more successful a necessary new deal for squash will be."
In response to the proposed formation of the task force, US Squash chairman John Fry said: "We have for a long time supported world squash in hosting World Championships, serving on committees and the most recent efforts to secure Olympic inclusion, including contributing significantly towards financing the effort.
"We encourage this close cooperation among Federations and the professional tour, the key stakeholders in the game, and will support the task force in any way possible, and in particular, any focus on development efforts at the grassroots."
Assem Khalifa, President of the Egyptian Squash Association, added: "With so many Egyptians, men and women, competing at the highest level globally, it is critical that we have leadership that effectively supports the sport.
"A task force that brings together the elite professionals in squash and the federations that are driving the sport’s growth, evaluating how to move the game forward in a positive way, is very welcome.
"A fresh start may be needed, certainly change is a must."
More than a dozen countries are said to already be part of the coalition and additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks as next steps and timelines are formulated.
England's Nick Matthew, a three-time world champion and current world ranked number two, has previously suggested that the PSA should assume responsibility for the sport's Olympic aspirations from the WSF.
Ramachandran, whose year has also been clouded by so far unsuccessful attempts to overthrow him as IOA President, told insidethegames last month that such questions were unsurprising but insisted the WSF will continue to grow squash.
Squash was one of three nominated sports to not be recommended by Tokyo 2020’s Additional Events Programme Panel in September, along with bowling and wushu.
Baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were the five put forward, with more deliberations to be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of a final decision set for next summer's IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro.
Squash’s aspirations for London 2012 were ended when the sport lost out on a "voting technicality" - Ramachandran claims - and four years later it narrowly lost out to rugby sevens and golf for inclusion at Rio 2016.
In 2013, it was shortlisted as a "new" sport ahead of rock climbing, karate and roller sports, before being "side-lined", in the words of Ramachandran, when the IOC reintroduced the previously axed wrestling for Tokyo 2020.
November 2015: Professional Squash Association slams WSF President for failed Olympic bid
October 2015: Shunned squash seeks explanation from IOC over latest Games exclusion
October 2015: Exclusive: Olympic omission once again "difficult to understand", admits World Squash Federation President
September 2015: Nick Butler: Five new sports at Tokyo 2020 – a good idea...or is it all getting out of control?
September 2015: Five sports recommended for inclusion at Tokyo 2020 Olympics