Iranian Chess Player Who Competed Without Hijab Reportedly Told Not To Return To Home Country

Iranian chess player Sara Khadem competed in a chess tournament in Kazakhstan last week and did so without wearing a hijab - a headscarf that is mandatory in Iran. Now, she's received a warning to not return to her home country, according to a new report.

An unnamed source who talked with Reuters claims that Khadem received multiple phone calls in which individuals warned her against returning to Iran following the tournament. The same source also said her relatives and parents in Iran have received threats.

Khadem, who also goes by Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked No. 804 in the world. She was not expected to be the only Iranian woman to play in the tournament without the traditional head covering. Sky News reported that Atousa Pourkashiyan played at the same tournament and also chose not to wear a hijab.

Khadem, who was born in 1997, arrived in Spain on Tuesday, according to a report. Various news outlets have reported that she will not be returning to Iran and plans to move to Spain full-time.

All of this comes as Iranians have taken to the streets to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died after being arrested by the morality police in September for not wearing her hijab properly.


The Iran men's national team stood in silence during the playing of the country’s national anthem ahead of its World Cup match against England in November. The silent protest was taken as a sign of support for the anti-government protests taking place back home.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and all other happenings in the world of golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.