Sunday, June 26 2016

Abuse alleged at Chess championship in Austria

The Independent today covers the story of three young Muslim chess players who, allegedly, were subjected to repeated abuse during a chess competition in Austria by the families of fellow competitors.

From the Independent:

“A gifted young English chess player was physically assaulted and his family subjected to Islamophobic abuse by other parents during a recent competition in Austria, his father claims.

“The alleged fracas has plunged the sport's governing body in England – the English Chess Federation (ECF) – into a racism row amid claims that officials initially did not do enough to tackle the abuse.

“Officials have belatedly begun investigating the incident and the Metropolitan Police is expected to start taking statements later today from those involved.

“Suhayl Rahman, a maths teacher from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, told The Independent that his three sons, Yousef, 13, Ibrahim, 10 and Ieysaa, seven, were subjected to abuse from other English parents during a junior chess championship in the Austrian town of Mureck.

"All three are talented chess players and Ieysaa went on to win a bronze medal at the games. But the family claim their trip was marred by the increasingly hostile reception they received from the parents of fellow competitors.

“In a series of emails sent to the Rahman family during the competition which have been seen by The Independent, officials at the ECF said they recognised that there was "an increased risk" to the safety of both Mrs Contu and Yousef from the parents of other competitors.

“But nothing was done to exclude the potentially violent parents from the venue or from having contact with the children. Instead, the Rahman family were asked to move into a separate hotel, a request that they refused.

“On the final day, Mr Rahman said his eldest son, Yousef, was assaulted by the mother of another competitor after he tried to watch his brother's game.

“"His path was blocked by another parent," he told The Independent. "So he went round her and she grabbed him by his left pec, sunk her claws into his skin and yanked him back. He was bleeding, he was crying and he suffered bad bruising. It was quite terrible." A photograph of Yousef taken soon after the incident shows his chest marred by a deep, purple bruise.

“Mr Rahman said his family felt let down by the ECF, whom he accused of ignoring their repeated concerns.

“The ECF has now launched an investigation and has asked witnesses, including the Austrian police, to provide statements. It expects to publish a report later today. Meanwhile the Rahman family have asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate.

“"The ECF is taking the matter extremely seriously and has initiated an investigation. A further statement will be issued as soon as possible," the ECF said in a statement.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 16:38

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