Chess federation vows ‘huge effort’ to include Israelis in Saudi-hosted match

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is undertaking a “huge effort” to include Israeli players in a speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia next month, the federation said today.
Publish date : Tuesday 28 November 2017 10:47
Code: 296053
Seven Israeli players hoping to attend the championship on 26-30 December have submitted visa requests, FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos told Reuters.
Should their visas be granted, it would mark the first time Saudi Arabia has publicly hosted Israelis. Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel and there are no formal ties between the two countries.
“We have sent their documents to the organisers and the visa status is currently pending,” Makropoulos said.
“The same applies for many other chess players who are waiting for their visa invitation letters. We are making a huge effort to ensure that all players get their visas.”
An Israeli cabinet minister made a rare disclosure on 19 November that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia.