A video posted by the Omani female tennis player Fatima Al Nabhani on her Instagram account accusing officials and staff of racism and mistreatment in her last match at Clermont-Ferrand in France has gone viral.
The 27-year-old walked out of the match after feeling she was mistreated while highlighting several incidents of that. Shortly afterwards she posted a video saying she reported the situation to the International Tennis Federation in an email.
Fatima starts the video speaking in Arabic and then switches to English to explain how she felt she faced discrimination from the chair umpire of the match and some members of the staff as well.
She goes on to assume this might have been the case because she is Muslim and because of her mother’s hijab.
Translation: “Even in sports that should bring people closer together, there is racism?! Honestly, what happened with the Omani tennis player Fatimah Nabhani is shameful. We will never accept it, our player in one of the best games like tennis is treated like this. Hopefully officials will intervene and action take against those who treated her this way.”
While Fatima did not mention any specific details, the Sport360 website obtained a copy of the email she sent. It states Fatima was asked at the beginning of the match to change her outfit and remove the leggings she was wearing under the skirt, although this does not violate the dress code.
She also reported incidents in which the chair umpire chatted with her opponent in French without letting her understand any word of what they were saying. Later on during the game, the umpire ignored mistakes made by her opponent but prevented Fatima from reporting any complaints.
Fatima’s video went viral on the social media, leading the tennis’ governing body, the International Tennis Federation to launch an investigations into what happened
Social media bloggers in Oman and around the Middle East reacted and expressed support for Fatima.
Translation: “We are proud of you. Stay strong and we support you.”
Meanwhile, others thought differently. Fatimah was accused of trying to justify her failure by blaming the match umpire and her opponent.
Translation: “I do not support Fatima Nabhani. This is done to cover her failure in the tournament. She used to participate in past years in the same tournament, so what is the meaning of such racism and discrimination now...."
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