Qatar will not be part of Speed Chess Championship to be held in Saudi Arabia after the local organizing committee banned the raising of Qatari national flag amid the ongoing diplomatic row between the small Gulf country and its neighbors.
The Qatar Chess Association announced Sunday its teams would not join other nations at the Speed Chess Championship to take place December 26-30 in Saudi Arabia after the organizing committee conditioned the participation of the Qatari teams on the non-raising of the Qatari flag during the tournaments.
The Association rejected the condition as contrary to the international law and the sports regulations. It also regretted involvement of politics in sports.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt have since June 5 severed ties with Qatar that they accuse of sponsoring terrorism. They busted sea, air and ground links with their Gulf neighbor.
Qatari citizens can no longer travel freely to the four countries and the boycotting countries have made punishable any pro-Qatari sentiment in their territories.
Qatar was to show up at the tournament with a men team at men tournament and a woman player in the women’s championship.
Qatar was forced this month to relinquish rights to host 2017 edition of football Gulf Cup after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE refused to take part in the tournament. Qatar was chosen to host the event in place of Kuwait which underwent football governing body FIFA’s international ban.
Kuwait salvaged the championship few days before the scheduled kickoff after FIFA lifted the ban. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain accepted to join the competition in Kuwait.
The tournament kicked off Saturday. Qatar are the reigning champions.