Hijab mandatory at Iran World Championship, foreign players outraged

The next world chess championship in Iran will host players from around the globe. However, some players might be backing from it now. The world’s top female chess players are left angry after the announcement that it would be necessary to wear a hijab during the championship.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) announced the rule and also threatened that; those who don’t comply with it will  be arrested.

US women’s champion Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, after listening to the decision, withdrew her name from the tournament. Barnes said, “Iran has hosted chess tournaments before and women were always forced to wear a hijab…We don’t see this event being any different, forced hijab is the country’s law. This is religious and sexist discrimination”.

She further said that; “If the venue of the championship is not changed, I will not be participating. I am deeply upset by this. I feel privileged to have qualified to represent the US at the Women’s World Chess Championship and to not be able to due to religious, sexist, and political issues is very disappointing.”

On the other hand, Chairman of FIDE’s Commission for Women’s Chess Susan Polger has said that, if the commission receives any complaints from the participants they will handle them “professionally and diplomatically.”