26 Dec 2017 - 10:30
International Chess Federation intervenes to ensure Qatar participation in Riyadh
The Peninsula Online
Doha: Qatar Chess Federation confirmed yesterday night that it will participate in the World Chess Championship in Saudi Arabia on December 29 and 30.
The confirmation came after Riyadh responded to its demands, an official statement said.
The statement said that the players will participate in the World Blitz Chess Championships only on December 29 and 30, because it was not possible to participate in the Rapid tournament that begins on Tuesday (today).
The statement added that the Qatari federation received an electronic message from the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or FIDE) on Monday that the visas would be ready upon arrival at Riyadh International Airport, further enquiring about the dates of flights so that the Saudi authorities can take the necessary steps.
The Secretary-General of the Qatar Chess Association Mohammed Al Medaihki explained that he will participate in the championship after the support from International Federation that helped to remove the reasons, which called for not raising the flag of Qatar, and also to ensure that Qatari players are given a visa at the airport.
He stressed that Qatar has always separated sport from politics in the belief that sport brings together peoples and does not differentiate them.
On Sunday, Qatar's national chess federation announced that they could not participate in the tournament because of "the requirement of the Organizing Committee in Saudi Arabia for the players not to raise the flag of Qatar during the competitions."