Chinese Wrestlers denied visas by Indian Government due to coronavirus outbreak

Chinese Wrestlers denied visas by Indian Government due to coronavirus outbreak

Chinese Wrestlers denied visas by Indian Government due to coronavirus outbreak
Chinese wrestlers have been denied visas for the upcoming Asian Championships

17 February 2020

Chinese Wrestlers denied visas by Indian Government due to coronavirus outbreak

 

A 40-member strong Chinese wrestling team will not participate at the Asian Championships beginning here today. Their visas are denied by Indian Government due to coronavirus outbreak in China. It was expected that the Indian government would not take the risk of allowing such a large Chinese contingent to come here for the February 18-23 event. Nevertheless, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had kept its fingers crossed after receiving a written confirmation from the Chinese Wrestling Association (CWA) that all 30 wrestlers and 10 support staff members had been quarantined and had not been infected by the virus.

WFI waited till Monday for the Indian High Commission in Beijing to process visas, but got no response. With the Indian government imposing strict travel restrictions on Chinese nationals arriving in the country, the health and foreign ministries found no reason to reply to WFI’s several reminders seeking an update on China’s participation. It’s been learnt that the CWA has complained to the United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s global governing body, about India’s refusal to grant visas to its wrestlers on health grounds. CWA contended that they had applied well in advance for visas and that all its wrestlers were looking forward to train and compete at the six-day meet. It would be interesting to see whether the UWW initiates any action against WFI or chooses to ignore CWA’s complaint considering it’s an epidemic which has affected people globally.

Meanwhile, WFI informed the Pakistani federation that its wrestlers’ hotel bookings have been made from Tuesday, but it said its grapplers would arrive on Friday to compete in the men’s freestyle competition beginning Saturday.

A miffed WFI official said: “If they don’t come by Tuesday, we will recover the amount from the UWW. If not, then the Pakistan contingent will first have to make the payment before competing.”