Saudi Arabia bans Israeli chess players from world tournament, sparking outrage

The head of the Israeli Chess Federation said Saudi Arabia has invited underqualified Palestinian players to compete but failed to invite Israeli players.
Photo credit: Hadas Porush, Flash 90

The organizers of the upcoming World Chess Championship in Saudi Arabia have not invited Israeli players to participate, triggering sharp criticism from Israeli officials.

"We are the only country that hasn't been invited," said Lior Eizenberg, who heads the Israeli Chess Federation. He added that players from the Palestinian Authority and the Gulf States were invited even though some of them did not meet the criteria the organizers had set.

Eizenberg said the Israeli federation is demanding that Saudi Arabia not be allowed to host the tournament in the next two years, as it is supposed to do.



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