Saudi Arabia stripped of hosting chess tournament after refusing Israelis visas
International Federation of Chess says it will relocate the Championships following the denial of visas to Israeli players
For the second straight year, Saudi Arabia won’t let Israeli chess players in for a world tournament. This year the Arab country will be penalised.
The World Blitz & Rapid Championships has been relocated to Russia after the Israelis were refused visas. The same thing happened to seven Israelis who were to participate in the tournament in December 2017 in Riyadh.
Their letter was sent with the assistance of the Lawfare Project, a nonprofit Jewish civil and human rights organisation.
It said that the Israeli players’ “inability to participate in this tournament was due to FIDE’s failure to secure entry visas to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Israeli nationals and, correspondingly, its failure to guarantee their equal treatment and to protect them against discrimination on the basis of their nationality.”
On Sunday, FIDE said it would move the tournament, scheduled for Dec. 25-31, citing Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory visa policy.
Israeli athletes have frequently had trouble getting visas to enter Arab countries hosting tournaments.
Source: Jewish News