According to Mahmuda Chowdhury, the team’s captain and a member of the Chess Federation, the visa was denied because of worry that the players may “escape” if they travelled to Italy. Bangladesh’s chess team was denied a visa to visit Italy because the authorities feared they would not return.
Bangladesh was expected to play in the World Junior Chess Championship in Italy. However, after making all the necessary preparations, they are not participating. This is because the Italian consulate denied the Bangladeshi player’s visa. Mahmuda Chowdhury, a member of the Chess Federation and team captain, stated that the visa was denied because of concern that the team might “flee” if they travelled to Italy.
The Under-20 level tournament for FIDE was held last October 11 to 23 in Sardinia, Italy.
Bangladesh requested visas for two male and five female chess players in order for them to participate in this event. However, no visas were issued, and Mahmuda Chowdhury stated that Bangladesh’s application was not given “importance.” She said, “We submitted all the necessary paperwork to the consulate. The World Chess Federation FIDE also addressed a letter to the ambassador with more information. Sadly, they did not give this letter any consideration.”
Mahmuda met the Italian ambassador in Dhaka, but it wasn’t fruitful either. When I tried to have a serious conversation with the ambassador, he clearly did not want to. He stated that many people from Bangladesh travel to Italy but never return. As a result, the chess team from Bangladesh will not be granted entry. Absolutely no other papers or suggestions will do. The likes of this have never happened to me before,” Mahmuda stated. “
Before this, we visited many European and American countries with no issues. Instead, we applied for a visa in every case, and we got it quickly. But, unfortunately, Italy denied our visa application due to bias against Bangladesh.
Seven Bangladeshi chess players planned to compete in the World Junior Championship. Two of them were supposed to have their travel costs covered by the chess federation. Many others solicited donations from members of their own teams and from businesses that wanted to support the cause. However, as a result of visa difficulties, the Bangladesh chess team lost about TK 4.5 lakh.