World chess body suspends Russia and Belarus from its official events
World chess governing body FIDE on Wednesday suspended Russia and Belarus from all its tournaments until further notice due to the invasion of Ukraine, jeopardising the two countries' participation in the 44th Chess Olympiad in India later this year.
FIDE, however, said in individual tournaments of the World Championship cycle, players from these two countries can participate under the world body's flag. Russia invaded Ukraine in february and found support from Belarus.
"Taking into account the current recommendations of the IOC, the FIDE Council suspends the national teams of Russia and Belarus from participation in official FIDE tournaments until further notice," the FIDE said in a statement.
"In the individual tournaments of the FIDE World Championship cycle, players from these countries will be able to participate under the FIDE flag."
The International Olympic Committee had recommended all the sports federations to exclude Russia and Belarus -- which has extended support in the invasion -- from international events, but had left the final decision to individual governing bodies.
Several international federations have since then banned athletes from Russia and Belarus from their events.
The recently-concluded Beijing Winter Paralympics had also excluded athletes from these two countries just before the start of the showpiece.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be organized in Chennai later this year, making it the second major global event of the sport to be held in India after the World Championship match in 2013.