Mumbai, June 13: Soumya Swaminathan, who recently opted out of the Indian team at Asian Nations Cup (Asian Team) Chess Championship 2018 in Iran, found support from unexpected quarters, earlier today. Former Indian cricketers Mohammad Kaif and Virender Sehwag took to their social media account, Twitter, to express their support. Soumya had pulled out of the Chess tournament citing a violation of her human rights.
Mohammad Kaif, who has been quite vocal about sharing his views on his social media account, hailed Soumya’s decision to pull out of the multi-nation event in Iran. Kaif said that there shouldn’t be any scope for religious dress codes to be forcefully implemented on sportspersons.
The former Indian batsman tweeted, “Hats off to Soumya Swaminathan for pulling out of this event in Iran. There should be no scope for religious dress codes to be imposed on players. A host nation should not be granted permission to host such international events if it fails to consider basic human rights.”
See Mohammad Kaif’s tweet in support of Soumya Swaminathan:
Hats off to Soumya Swaminathan for pulling out of this event in Iran.
There should be no scope for religious dress codes to be imposed on Players. A host nation should not be granted permission to host auch international events if it fails to consider basic human rights. pic.twitter.com/soQ9SVHYS6
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) June 13, 2018
Soumya Swaminathan not only received support from Mohammad Kaif, but also from his former teammate Virender Sehwag. The dashing opener, who in equal measure, shares his views on social media had ‘liked’ Kaif’s tweet. The duo is known to have put forth their views on their Twitter account, much to their fans’ delight.
Earlier, Soumya Swaminathan, Woman Grandmaster (India), on Saturday, had excused herself from participating in the prestigious Chess Tournament in Iran, to be held next month, citing infringement of her right to freedom of expression, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Read her Facebook post here:
Soumya’s decision to boycott the Chess Tournament might hinder her career. However, this is not the first incident where an Indian sportswoman has refused to be a tournament citing dress code as the reason to pull out. In 2016, defending champion Heena Sidhu had also withdrawn her participation in Asian Airgun Shooting Championship which was held in Iran too!