Qatar says won’t compete in Saudi chess tournament
DOHA – Anadolu Agency
Qatar will not compete in the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships hosted by Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from Dec. 26-30.
According to the Qatar Chess Federation, their top national team will not compete in the tournament, because the championship’s organizers demanded that “the players not display the Qatari flag at any stage during the competition.”
The statement said the move was “clearly unfair to the players” and “violation of international law,” and that legal procedures would be applied.
According to the official QNA news agency, Qatar Chess Federation’s Secretary General Mohamed al-Modiahki also said it “is a blatant injustice against our players and a violation of all international laws and sports.”
Qatar’s decision came after Israeli players were denied visas to participate in the event.
In early June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain all abruptly severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
The four threatened to impose further sanctions on Doha if it failed to accept a long list of demands, including the closure of the Qatar-funded Al Jazeera television.
Qatar denies the accusations, describing attempts to diplomatically isolate it as a violation of international law and its national sovereignty.