(IranSportsPress.com-nypost.com)- Dorsa Derakhshani is moving on to a team where she’ll be welcomed no matter her choice of headwear.
Over seven months after the 19-year-old Tehran native was kicked off the Iranian national chess team for wearing a headband instead of a hijab at an international tournament, Derkhshani has joined the United States team, according to an Iranian news agency.
Derakhshani broke a rule that has been in place in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution when she refused to wear a headscarf during a February competition in the British territory of Gibraltar. Iran requires all women to wear the hijab in public places.
Derakhshani finished 118th out of 225 in the Gibraltar tournament.
Her younger brother, Borna Derakhshani, also was banned from the Iranian team after he took on an Israeli opponent at the same tournament. Iran does not recognize Israel as a state, and therefore their national team members are not allowed to compete against Israelis. In January 2016, Iranian competitor Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami withdrew from a tournament in Switzerland when he learned he would be facing an Israeli in the fifth round.
Dorsa Derkhshani will join Nazi Paikidze on Team USA. The 23-year-old, Russian-born Paikidze, who won the US women’s championship in 2016, refused to compete in February’s Women’s World Chess Championship in Iran in protest of the country’s hijab law.