New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Pakistan wrestlers will be participating at the Asian Wrestling Championships which will be held in New Delhi from February 18 to 23, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said on Sunday.
WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said that visas were granted after a combined effort from the federation, the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Ministry to inform the Ministry of Home Affairs of the repurcussions India could otherwise suffer.
In the case of Chinese wrestlers, however, Tomar said they will have to wait till Monday for a definitive decision on whether visas will be granted in light of the crisis caused by the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
“I had met the sports secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya on Friday who took up the matter with the home secretary immediately. The process took time because of which it spilled over to Saturday when the embassy was directed to issue the visas for them,” Tomar told IANS.
“IOA president Narinder Batra also put in a lot of efforts and all this led to the Pakistani contingent getting visas on a Saturday when government offices are normally shut.”
Six individuals will be travelling from accross the border and they are expected to reach New Delhi on February 18. The contingent includes a referee, a coach and four wrestlers — Muhammad Bilal (57kg), Abdul Rehman (74kg), Tayab Raza (97kg) and Zaman Anwar (125kg).
(Rohit Mundayur can be contacted on [email protected])