Paris, 3 August 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has led a campaign against visa refusals for participants in international sports events on grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality or other forms of discrimination.

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 of 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 that, "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.