New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for politicising an international sporting after the country withdraw from the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai.
Pakistan withdrew from the Chess Olympiad this week being held in Tamil Nadu after accusing India of mixing politics with sports.
"It is surprising that Pakistan has taken a decision not to participate in Chess Olympiad even after their team reached India," said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a press briefing.
Pakistan was invited by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to be held in Chennai, from July 28 to August 10.
However, Pakistan has chosen to withdraw its contingent already training for this event, while objecting that the torch relay passed through Srinagar on June 21.
"Pakistan condemns India's mischievous attempt to mix politics with sports. As a protest, Pakistan has decided not to participate in the 44th Chess Olympiad and will also raise the matter with the International Chess Federation at the highest level," the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had alleged in a statement.
In response to Pakistan's argument, Bagchi said," the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will remain an integral part of India. It is highly unfortunate that Pakistan has politicised the prestigious international event by making such statements and withdrawing its participation."
The Chess Olympiad 2022 is being held at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre in Mahabalipuram. The Chess Olympiad was initially scheduled to be held in Russia and was moved to Chennai after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The upcoming edition will witness a record 188 teams in the Open section and 162 in the women's category. The 44th Chess Olympiad will run till August 10. (ANI)