World Chess Federation FIDE to Wiesenthal Centre: “If visa is refused, event will be cancelled”

August 3, 2018


The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has led a campaign against visa refusals for participants in international sports events on grounds of religious, ethnic, gender, national or other discrimination. See SWC 25 July 2018 press release: "7 Year Old Israeli Chess Champion Banned from Tunisian International Chess Festival"

World Chess Federation, FIDE Vice-President I. Gelfer, confirmed by telephone to the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, that in view of the Centre’s intervention, “FIDE has advised Tunisia that, if any player is excluded from the World School Championship, 21-26 April 2019 in Sousse, the event will be moved to Turkey”...bearing in mind that Israelis have no visa problems in that country.

Moreover, another international tournament is scheduled for mid-December in Saudi Arabia, which, last year refused visas to Israelis.

FIDE has decided, “If this is repeated, the event will be cancelled,” adding,”An official ruling on this matter has been placed on the FIDE General Assembly agenda meeting in Batumi, Georgia, in October.”

“We congratulate FIDE on a significant sports victory for equality," concluded Samuels.

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033609770158, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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