Participation of six junior Indian cyclists in World Championships under cloud after Switzerland rejects visa applications
The visa applications of six World Championship-bound junior Indian cyclists have been rejected by host nation Switzerland, a situation described as nothing new by the federation, which is hopeful of a resolution in the next few days.
New Delhi: The visa applications of six World Championship-bound junior Indian cyclists have been rejected by host nation Switzerland, a situation described as nothing new by the federation, which is hopeful of a resolution in the next few days.
The showpiece is scheduled to be held in Aigle from 15 to 19 August.
The applications of Amar Singh, Bilal Ahmad Dar, Gurpreet Singh, Manoj Sahu, Naman Kapil and Venkappa Shivappa were rejected on 20 July by Swiss Embassy, dealing a blow to the players.
Along with the six cyclists, the visa applications of three support staff have also been rejected, less than a month before the start of the track event.
The three reasons given by the embassy for the rejection of the visas are: (i) justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided; (ii) the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose, and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable; and (iii) your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.
Cycling Federation of India (CFI) said it had submitted all the documents required to obtain visas of the players. It is expected to file an appeal to the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi in a day or two. Such an appeal is to be filed within 30 days of the order of rejection of visa.
"Visas issues with the Swiss Embassy is not new. We have submitted the invitation letter from the organisers, the flight tickets and the hotel bookings. I don't know know what more we need to submit," CFI secretary general Onkar Singh told PTI.
"Now, we will have to apply for the appeal which will cost 200 Swiss Franc for each cyclist. We have written to the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the organisers of the championships in Switzerland to help in resolving the issue. We are hoping that the players will get the visas by the end of this month," he added.
Onkar said keeping in mind visa issues that normally crops up when the Swiss Embassy is involved, the federation had applied well in advance.
"We applied for the visas two and a half months back and now we have got some time now. I will personally go to the Swiss Embassy and I am hoping that with the intervention of the UCI and the organisers in Switzerland, the matter should be sorted out soon."
India is being represented by nine cyclists in the championships. Three are currently training in Germany and will directly join the team in Switzerland.
"We have a strong chance to win medals. One of our players training in Germany is currently ranked number two in the world," Onkar said.
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