An Indian wushu team scheduled to participate in the world championships in Fort Worth, Texas from Thursday is still awaiting visa clearance at the US Embassy. The players were originally due to leave on November 12 but are now anxiously waiting to see if they can travel on Thursday.
The team applied for a visa on 7 October but were not called for a visa interview as dates were not available this year. There are 16 players, four coaches, five officials and a physio on the 26 member contingent.
Hangzhou Asian Games silver medalist Naorem Roshibina Devi is part of the team.
The union sports ministry sought help from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) wrote to the US Embassy in Delhi.
“The team has applied for a visa at the VFS center, however, the visa appointment is only available in 2025 at the VFS Center. The team will leave on November 12 and return on November 22. The US Embassy in New Delhi for necessary facilitation,” Prem Kumar Jha, joint secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, wrote to Vani Sarraju Rao, Additional Secretary, AMS (Americas) Division, MEA, on 10 October.
IOA joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey wrote to the US Embassy on November 13, asking for visas to be issued “as soon as they need to reach Texas by November 15”.
The organizers of the world wushu championship also sent a letter to the US Embassy four days ago.
A Wushu Federation official said they are hopeful that the visas will be issued by Thursday. India won four medals, including two gold medals, at the 2019 worlds in Shanghai.
“It is a very important competition for the players. They are worried if they will be able to compete. Last year, we faced a similar situation during the World Games in Alabama, USA, but the authorities cleared it in one day. We are very hopeful that the US Embassy will clear the team by tomorrow (Thursday),” said an official of the Wushu Association of India.
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