Telegraph report about Austria

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AustinElliott
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by AustinElliott » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:09 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote: The halal food issue I can understand - if the ECF failed to meet their obligations of provision for any special dietary requirements then this needs to be looked at for future events.
Whilst I suspect you are right, there's a chain as to whose problem it is....
This probably also applies to the issues about food/meals being available at the specific times mandated by Ramadan restrictions (last thing before sunrise, and straight after sunset). From the various comments it is fairly clear that in high Summer these wouldn't be the times a hotel normally serves meals - breakfast at 5.30 am ..??!.

Note also that in this particular case we are likely talking about a small hotel in a smallish town in Styria, which is not the most cosmopolitan part of Austria (apart possibly from its biggest city Graz). I wonder what a hotel in a place like that would say if you asked for vegetarian meals, for instance. My acquaintance with rural S Germany suggests you might get a shrug and a comment like "Well you can eat the salad things and maybe an omelette if it's on the menu".

Anyway, I'd think it highly likely small hotels in such locations have no experience of, and do not expect to have to deal with, clients with non-standard dietary and mealtime requirements. Which presents a problem, obviously, for teams with people who do have such requirements... and brings us back to the issue of whose job it is to tell hotels such things in advance, and whether it is anyone's formal responsibility to intervene if the 'modifications' don't happen or are deemed insufficient. And then add possibly language and cultural 'barriers' too. But in the setting of this particular case it all tends to provide plausible explanations for 'cock-up rather than conspiracy', if I can put it that way.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Peter D Williams » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:04 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Peter D Williams wrote: If the police investigate and did decide there is sufficient evidence to prosecute would this not then call into question the ECF statement.
IF being the critical word. Surely we should cross this particular bridge when we come to it? Let's not forget that the Austrian police investigated and took no action.
The police are taking formal statements from the family about the allegations and the father is reported to had said that he has made a formal complaint to the English police about this matter. Our police have a policy of fully investigating any allegation of racism or child abuse.I think until we hear that the police are taking no further action and this may take some time this is far from over and also the parents of both sides of these allegations could take civil action against each other.
Last edited by Peter D Williams on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:04 pm

Andrew Varney wrote:Good to see that the report is out and finds the allegations unfounded.

Well, the report isn't "out" as such. The Independent have updated their article (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 46831.html) and towards the end it now says,
the federation has yet to decide whether it will make the contents of the report they have compiled public. A spokesperson for the group said it would need to take legal advice before any such move

On general principles, I tend to feel that "better out than in" and "show your working out" are usually the best approaches to information and decision making, although I make no specific judgement at this time about this case. Obviously you need to be careful.

Unfortunately it's hard to imagine that publishing the report will appease Mr Rahman, whatever it might actually say. He seems both angry and convinced of his case and therefore likely to be motivated to be in this for the long haul. I agree with Kevin that this is most unlikely to be over any time soon.

In the meantime, maybe we can see if we can make some lemonade.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Peter D Williams » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:32 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Andrew Varney wrote:Good to see that the report is out and finds the allegations unfounded.

Well, the report isn't "out" as such. The Independent have updated their article (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 46831.html) and towards the end it now says,
the federation has yet to decide whether it will make the contents of the report they have compiled public. A spokesperson for the group said it would need to take legal advice before any such move

On general principles, I tend to feel that "better out than in" and "show your working out" are usually the best approaches to information and decision making, although I make no specific
judgement at this time about this case. Obviously you need to be careful.

Unfortunately it's hard to imagine that publishing the report will appease Mr Rahman, whatever it might actually say. He seems both angry and convinced of his case and therefore likely to be motivated to be in this for the long haul. I agree with Kevin that this is most unlikely to be over any time soon.

In the meantime, maybe we can see if we can make some lemonade.
Is it not surprising that Mr Rahman is upset/angry if he believes that his child has been attacked hurt and his wife has suffered alleged racism? The ECF statement is not going to appease him.Wonder if the ECF have interviewed or got witness statements from his wife/children over these allegations.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

AustinElliott
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by AustinElliott » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:52 pm

As in all such cases of (likely) disputed recollections of the same events, one needs to bear in mind the Rashomon Effect.

One of the reasons why being the person or persons investigating, whether for an organisation like the ECF or for the police, is not a job I would ever want.

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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:57 pm

Peter D Williams wrote:Is it not surprising that Mr Rahman is upset/angry if he believes that his child has been attacked hurt and his wife has suffered alleged racism?
It isn't in the least bit surprising, no.

Peter D Williams wrote:Wonder if the ECF have interviewed or got witness statements from his wife/children over these allegations
It is to address exactly this kind of question that leads me to feel that it is usually better (if at all possible) to publish entire reports rather than just the conclusions.

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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:25 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:On general principles, I tend to feel that "better out than in" and "show your working out" are usually the best approaches to information and decision making, although I make no specific judgement at this time about this case. Obviously you need to be careful.
a) it is likely that the ECF will want to take statements from the various parties involved. Witnesses are more likely to be candid if what they say is held in confidence.

b) any witness statements made to the police or to courts have absolute privilege and cannot form the legal basis of a defamation suit; any statements made by the witnesses to the ECF do not have this privilege.

c) the ECF officeholders themselves are not protected from defamation in any statement they make on the matter.

It may be possible for the ECF to publish everything; it may be unlikely that it will ever be in that position.

I am confident that the ECF will deal with this rigorously and with impartiality. However, it is clear that whatever conclusions it arrives at, whatever it makes public and whatever action it may decide to take, it will not be able to satisfy all the parties concerned.

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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:48 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:... it is clear that whatever conclusions it arrives at, whatever it makes public and whatever action it may decide to take, it will not be able to satisfy all the parties concerned.
I'm sure this is right - and I accept your other points are possible issues too (hence the qualification in my earlier posts).

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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:13 pm

@Austin Elliott

As you say, the Steiermark is typically rural and conservative, people have a set way of life. This is even more likely to be the case with Mureck - just try to find it on the map! Even with best will, hotel staff there might fail to cater adequately for observant Muslim guests during Ramadan.

It might be sensible in future for the ECF to arrange quality self-catering accommodation (having checked the local availability and range of grocery provision) should there be any question of difficulty over dietary requirements.

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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:29 pm

Paul McKeown wrote: It might be sensible in future for the ECF to arrange quality self-catering accommodation (having checked the local availability and range of grocery provision) should there be any question of difficulty over dietary requirements.
More often than not, it is a condition of entry that delegations stay in official accommodation.

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... lation.doc

which are the 2011 regulations

www.chess.sk/files/turnaje/EUYCC_2012_regulation.doc are those for 2012.
All participants including parents, coaches, observers and relatives are obliged to stay in official hotels or guesthouses and will not be allowed to book directly their accommodation or food.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Peter D Williams » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:21 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:
All participants including parents, coaches, observers and relatives are obliged to stay in official hotels or guesthouses and will not be allowed to book directly their accommodation or food.
That was not true when i went to the Europeans with Peter one of the chess coaches did not stay at the teams accommodation! being nosy i went and found where he was staying and it was far nicer than the accommodation the team had the view was wonderful over looking the sea.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:31 pm

Peter D Williams wrote: That was not true when i went to the Europeans with Peter one of the chess coaches did not stay at the teams accommodation! being nosy i went and found where he was staying and it was far nicer than the accommodation the team had the view was wonderful over looking the sea.
It's not unknown for there to be several official hotels and for it to be possible to upgrade (at a price). The accommodation for coaches usually has to be paid for, so they may get to choose their price range. As they are usually paid for attending, quality of accommodation can be part of the fee.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Peter D Williams » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:43 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Peter D Williams wrote: That was not true when i went to the Europeans with Peter one of the chess coaches did not stay at the teams accommodation! being nosy i went and found where he was staying and it was far nicer than the accommodation the team had the view was wonderful over looking the sea.
It's not unknown for there to be several official hotels and for it to be possible to upgrade (at a price). The accommodation for coaches usually has to be paid for, so they may get to choose their price range. As they are usually paid for attending, quality of accommodation can be part of the fee.

No mention of being able to upgrade was ever mentioned to me.This should be an option for every one.I got the impression from the chess coach he organized this all him self as he was far to smart to stay where we did! Come to think of it i do not remember him eating in the dinner hall to.
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by AustinElliott » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:05 pm

Peter D Williams wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Peter D Williams wrote: That was not true when i went to the Europeans with Peter one of the chess coaches did not stay at the teams accommodation! being nosy i went and found where he was staying and it was far nicer than the accommodation the team had the view was wonderful over looking the sea.
It's not unknown for there to be several official hotels and for it to be possible to upgrade (at a price). The accommodation for coaches usually has to be paid for, so they may get to choose their price range. As they are usually paid for attending, quality of accommodation can be part of the fee.
No mention of being able to upgrade was ever mentioned to me.This should be an option for every one.I got the impression from the chess coach he organized this all him self as he was far to smart to stay where we did! Come to think of it i do not remember him eating in the dinner hall too.
It all sounds rather reminiscent of attending scientific conferences as a non-invited (hence not big name person to be buttered up) participant. Staying in 'student accommodation', or cheap hotels, eating in the student refectory etc. Some times / some places it is surprisingly good, and other times/places - not by any means always the predictable ones- it is sadly dire. I can recall once arriving in the Canaries late at night for one such gig and finding I'd been 'promoted' from the cheap 'n' cheerful self-catering I had booked to the '3 star resort hotel 3 meals a day fully catered' option. The conference organisers clearly thought they were doing us a big favour, but we'd gone self-catering specifically to avoid dreary and unappetising hotel food. *Sigh*.

I think that, as a general point, people with very specific dietary/mealtime requirements, esp for religious reasons, might usefully be argued as an 'necessary exemption' to the must-go-to-official-accommodation rule. It is obviously not in the interests of tournaments if such folk don't get what they need and leave fuming and discontented, surely? And if the tournament organisers can't guarantee such things (whatever the reasons, such as 'local incomprehension', see above), they should really admit to it upfront and allow people to come up with their own solutions.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Peter D Williams » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:19 pm

AustinElliott wrote: It all sounds rather reminiscent of attending scientific conferences as a non-invited (hence not big name person to be buttered up) participant. Staying in 'student accommodation', or cheap hotels, eating in the student refectory etc. Some times / some places it is surprisingly good, and other times/places - not by any means always the predictable ones- it is sadly dire. I can recall once arriving in the Canaries late at night for one such gig and finding I'd been 'promoted' from the cheap 'n' cheerful self-catering I had booked to the '3 star resort hotel 3 meals a day fully catered' option. The conference organisers clearly thought they were doing us a big favour, but we'd gone self-catering specifically to avoid dreary and unappetising hotel food. *Sigh*.

I think that, as a general point, people with very specific dietary/mealtime requirements, esp for religious reasons, might usefully be argued as an 'necessary exemption' to the must-go-to-official-accommodation rule. It is obviously not in the interests of tournaments if such folk don't get what they need and leave fuming and discontented, surely? And if the tournament organisers can't guarantee such things (whatever the reasons, such as 'local incomprehension', see above), they should really admit to it upfront and allow people to come up with their own solutions.
You make some good points! One thing to remember is the price of these trips is not cheap. So you would expect the accommodation and food to be better than a students hall.I remember an ex president of the ECF who was attending the Europeans who also stayed in a far better hotel and never once did he eat where the team did! A funny thing happened on the last day we where there.England was one of the last teams to fly back so the food hall was closed and we all had to eat where the president had his meals he was overjoyed to see us all at mealtime.The food was wonderful that day!
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

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