Written by Staff Writer
13 Jun, 2018 | 8:43 pm
Soumya Swaminathan the Indian Chess champion, has pulled out of the Asian Chess Championship which will be taking place in Iran next month due to the country’s compulsory headscarf rule. The 29-year-old Woman Grandmaster said the rule was a violation of her personal rights.
Swaminathan, who is ranked No 5 in India, told local media that the tournament was originally supposed to be held in Bangladesh but as the new dates and venue came up, she pulled back.
Soumya however, did not want to blame the All India Chess Federation (AICF) as they could have protested against the decision to shift locations, instead, she had stated that one cannot expect everyone to be of the same opinion and that it’s always a subjective issue.
But her Facebook post carried quite a controversial statement, where she had said that she was quite disappointed to see that player’s rights and welfare given less importance when organizing official championships”.
She further penned down that athletes often made adjustments for the sake of sport, but an “enforceable religious dress” should not be one of them.
Although many on social media took to praise her for standing up for herself, there have been numerous cases where Indian athletes have withdrawn from tournaments over the same issue.
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