Wednesday 07 December 2022

Lebanese chess player refuses to compete against Israeli rival at Abu Dhabi international tournament

Israel has been snubbed for yet another time in a sports event as a young Lebanese chess player decided to quit the 28th edition of Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival in the United Arab Emirates to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.

The junior Lebanese chess champion Maggie Kassem Fawaz made the decision to pull out of the fourth round of the competitions in the Emirati capital because the draw set her up to confront a contestant from the Israeli regime, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Nour radio station reported.


The chess player said she refused to compete against the Israeli player during the Abu Dhabi tournament because Israel is an enemy.


The girl added that she took the move in a show of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian nation, and in condemnation of attempts by a number of Arab countries to normalize full diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime.


The 28th edition of Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival kicked off in the UAE on August 16, and will conclude on August 25.


The development comes only a few days after a young Lebanese mixed martial arts fighter announced his withdrawal from the 2022 Youth International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships in the UAE to avoid facing an Israeli opponent in the international competitions.


Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported on August 18 that Charbel Abou Daher pulled out of the sports event in Abu Dhabi after the draw placed him against Israeli rival Yonatan Mak in a Youth B 48-kilogram weight class contest.


Earlier this month, Iraqi tennis stars Nasr Mahdi and Mohammad al-Mahdi pulled out of the Bucharest Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament 2022 in Romania to avoid playing against Israeli competitors.


The president of the Iraqi Tennis Federation, Majid al-Ugaili, announced in a statement on August 11 that the draw set them on course for a math against an Israeli pair.  The Iraqi seeds then decided to pull out of the event.


Back on July 31, the Palestinian Information Center reported that Jordanian taekwondo fighter Maysir al-Dahamsheh had shunned a face-off against an Israeli rival at the 2022 World Taekwondo Cadet & Junior Championships in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia.


The Jordanian taekwondo practitioner could not clinch the bronze medal of the tournament after withdrawing from the competition in protest against normalization of relations of some Arab countries with Israel.


In recent years, an increasing number of athletes from Arab and Muslim countries have avoided facing Israeli opponents in international competitions in support of the Palestinian cause.


They view the participation of Israeli athletes in sports events as a scheme to help the Tel Aviv regime gradually normalize its relations with Muslim and Arab nations despite its brutal occupation of Palestine and its relentless crimes against Palestinians.



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