Bangladesh golfer skips Myanmar Open over refugee crisis


Bangladeshi golfer Siddikur Rahman. Photo: EPA

Bangladeshi golfer Siddikur Rahman on Wednesday pulled out of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open, citing his support for Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled a military crackdown in the mainly Buddhist country.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar's Rakhine state in late August.

Siddikur said he "felt a kind of uneasiness" about playing in the $750,000 Asian Tour tournament, which begins on Thursday in Yangon.

"I support the Rohingyas that's why I did not go. It might have sent a wrong message. Being a Muslim I also did not feel safe going there," he told reporters in Dhaka.

Siddikur is a golfing icon in Bangladesh and in 2016, became the first Bangladeshi to qualify automatically for the Olympics.

© AFP

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