Indian boxers suffer another blow, denied visas to participate in German tournament
Indian boxers’ preperation for the Commonwealth Games hit another road block as a 7-man team were denied visas to participate in the Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany. The boxers haven’t had international boxing exposure for months after the IABF was suspended by the Interntional Boxing Association (AIBA), and with just over a month to go for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, this latest snag comes as another big blow.
The ad-hoc committee set up by the IOA to oversee these matters said that they had applied for the visas a week back and have no idea why the visas were denied. The Chairman of the committee Talochan Singh said, “Their applications were rejected. This was certainly a big trip for Indian boxers ahead of the Commonwealth Games, but there's hardly anything one can do now. Even the Ministry of External Affairs failed to help us get the visas. We also requested the sports ministry, but nothing worked out. We have no clue what went wrong."
Joint secretary of the IOA Rakesh Gupta says that although they have no clue why the visas were denied, they are hoping to send the team to the China Open. “We had been trying to get the visas for the team for the last five days but could not succeed. After our attempts to get the visas through the official agency that handles German visas failed, we requested both the Ministry of External Affairs and the Sports Ministry to intervene. They did try, but the visas were not granted. Now we are trying to send the team to China Open.”
One can only hope that amidst this terrible mess, the Indian boxing contingent gets some much-needed match practice before the Commonwealth Games get underway.