New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Chinese wrestlers have been denied visas for the upcoming Asian Championships that will begin from Tuesday. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) secretary Vinod Tomar confirmed to IANS that the 40-strong Chinese contingent, that was supposed to travel to the national capital for the continental tournament, have been denied visas.
“They have not got the visas and there are no chances of them being able to participate in the tournament now,” Tomar said.
India stopped issuing visas to Chinese nationals from January 15 in the wake of the crisis in the country that has arisen from the deadly and highly contagious coronavirus.
Fearing repercussions for denying visas to wrestlers from certain countries in an Olympic year from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the wrestling world body United World Wrestling (UWW), the WFI had said on February 5 that it hopes Chinese and Pakistani wrestlers get visas for the Asian Championships.
While the six-member contingent from Pakistan have got visas, doubts over the participation of the Chinese contingent increased when UWW staffer Li Ling was denied an Indian visa for the championships.
On Sunday, the WFI secretary had said that any decision on the Chinese will be confirmed only on Monday but chances of them getting visas looked bleak.
“Health is the priority and this virus is very dangerous. It is something that poses a danger to a lot of people because of which it has gained such international prominence,” he said.
The outbreak has gained international prominence and with sports, a number of tournaments have been moved out of the country, including Asian Olympic qualifiers for boxing and wrestling. More than 1,600 people have been killed by the deadly disease.
(Rohit Mundayur can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)