Iranian Siblings Banned From Chess Team Over Muslim Customs

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Dorsa and Borna Derakhshani are Iranian siblings who have a fondness for competing in national chess tournaments.

However, the two teenagers were kicked off their national chess team on Monday by the Iranian Chess Federation (ICF). The reason for their removal is not due to their skills on the board, but because they denied recognition to certain Muslim customs.

Dorsa, 18, refused to wear a headscarf or a hijab during attendance at matches, which is deemed mandatory by the Iranians. As for her brother, Borsa, 15, he was removed because he accepted an invitation to play against an opponent from Israel, which is not recognized as a legitimate country by the state of Iran.

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“Unfortunately, what shouldn’t have happened has happened,” said Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, an official of the ICF, to the state-run Fars news agency. “Our national interests have priority over everything. As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran. And, in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.”

The siblings have not publicly addressed their removal from the team, but an interview with Dorsa post-chess match can be viewed below:

H/T: The Washington Post

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