Big blow: Spain rejects visa on ‘frivolous grounds’, 21 Indian wrestlers will not be able to participate in the World Championships

Highlights

Spain refuses visa to 21 Indian wrestlers in a strange decision
These Indian wrestlers were to participate in the Under-23 World Wrestling Championship in Pontevedra
Among the wrestlers who missed out on the championship, U-20 world champion last Panghal

New Delhi. In a strange decision, the Spanish Embassy has denied visas to 21 Indian wrestlers who were to participate in the Under-23 World Wrestling Championships in Pontevedra. The national federation said on Monday that the visa application was rejected only because they suspect the players will not leave the country until the visa period expires.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had selected a 30-member team for the championship which began on Monday, but only nine players were granted visas. Indian wrestlers who missed out on participating in the championship include U-20 Women’s World Champion Last Panghal.

For the first time like this, even after everything we are not able to go
Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of WFI, told PTI, “We have never faced this kind of situation before. Our wrestlers were not granted visas on petty grounds, despite showing the sanction letter from the Government of India and the invitation letter from the UWW, the governing body of World Wrestling.

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How did they think that the wrestler would not return
“We received the rejection letter this evening when we requested to return the passport at the earliest. This is really weird. It is really beyond our comprehension how the officials came to the conclusion that Indian wrestlers and coaches would not return to India. WFI had also applied for visas for nine of its coaches, but only six got visas.

3 coaches of freestyle got visa
Of the 10 freestyle wrestlers, only Aman (57kg) got visas while the applications of nine others were rejected. Interestingly, three freestyle coaches were given visas. Of the six Greco-Roman wrestlers and women, only Ankush (50kg) and Manasi (59kg) got visas.

Tomar said, “Now how can we send three coaches for a wrestler, so we are sending Jagmandar Singh with peace. Six Greco-Roman wrestlers have already reached Spain and two women wrestlers have left on Sunday.

Tags: Spain, Sports news, world championships

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