Written By: Majid al-kibsi
Article Date: Sep 25, 2010 - 4:28:49 AM
Reports that the Yemeni Chess team has been fired because they played Israel, originally reported on Thursday by various media sources, have been refuted by government sources.
There has been a flurry of hearsay and rumors in the last couple of days concerning the World Chess Federation-sponsored World Chess Olympiad 201, held in Minsk, in which Yemen is participating. Some sources, such as the British newspaper the Telegraph, claimed that the Yemeni chess team was fired because it played Israel in the much-anticipated tournament that took place in Belarus. Other sources, such as the Associated Press, said the Yemeni team did not play the Israeli team, and that they forfeited out of principle. The Yemen Observer investigated and found that indeed, the Yemeni team forfeited, and that they have not been fired and will still represent Yemen in chess tournaments.
“The Yemeni chess team refused to play against the Israeli chess team,” Moa’amar al-Eryani, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport said. “ The Yemeni team forfeited the match.”
AL-Eryani stated that what has been circulated by media is totally false. “They did not play. We at the ministry confirm that they did not play, and when we first tried to contact the delegation head we could not reach him,” said al-Eryani but he added “ but we contacted other resources like Yemen’s ambassador to Russia and the Palestinian Ambassador, and they confirmed that Yemen did not compete against Israel in the tournament,”
“The team is not sacked. They are still representing Yemen, and they still have other matches in the preliminary round to play,” said al-Eryani.
Results posted by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) said that Yemen lost each game in the first round, but the Arab countries’ teams demanded that the results should be considered a forfeit instead of a loss.
The Yemeni team is still in the tournament after winning against Cameroon 4-0 in the second round of the tournament, and is playing against Brazil in the third round.
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