GOMBAK (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The director of the National Scholastic Chess Championships 2017 tournament in Malaysia has denied playing a part in the withdrawal of a 12-year-old player over her "improper" dressing.
Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday (May 2), Mr Sophian A. Yusof, who claimed he is receiving death threats following the incident, said he was never involved in the conversation with the girl and her mother that led to the player's withdrawal from the tournament.
"I am being slandered," he said of a Facebook post alleging that he had deemed the girl's knee-length dress "a temptation from a certain angle, far, far away".
Mr Sophian also denied using the word "seductive" to describe the girl's dressing.
The tournament director said that he had lodged a report with the police and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over the initial Facebook post by the girl's coach, whom he claimed "spun" the story of what actually happened.
It was previously reported that the tournament organiser disputed the girl's complaint.
Pictures of Mr Sophian along with a message calling for his resignation as the Malaysian Chess Federation assistant secretary have gone viral on messaging apps.
The same picture has also received more than 2,000 shares on Facebook along with angry remarks against Mr Sophian in the comment sections.
Netizens have also tracked down his Facebook page and flooded it with criticism.
It was reported that during the tournament in Putrajaya on April 14, the girl was told mid-game by the chief arbiter that her short-sleeved knee-length dress was "improper" and she would not be allowed to wear a similar dress for the next round.
The girl's mother, Ms Chin Wai Ling, said the director's pronouncement was made only at around 10pm when shops were closing, so she did not have time to buy slacks for the following day's 9am start time.
Feeling harassed and humiliated, the girl - who is the Kuala Lumpur district chess champion - withdrew from the tournament.