Indian athletes heading to Turkmenistan forced to miss flight, Sports Ministry reacts at last moment
What's the story?
A shocking incident took place late on Wednesday evening as 106 athletes from India were left stranded at the Delhi International Airport. They were due to fly to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, to participate in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games but were unable to board their flight.
This happened as they did not have the required clearance letter from the Sports Ministry. A source in the Sports Ministry told Sportskeeda, "The players were participating in Kurash, Sambo, Ju Jitsu, Dance Sports, Traditional Wrestling and Belt Wrestling. However, they did not receive the required authority letter as their events were not recognized by the Indian Olympic Association."
In case you didn't know
The fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be held in Turkmenistan later this month and are scheduled to start on September 17.
It will feature a total of 21 events and will see participation from countries in Asia and for the first time, nations from Oceania as well, taking the total number of participating countries to 65.
The heart of the matter
However, the ministry intervened later and the process to give clearance to the participants of the above-mentioned events was initiated. The issue had cropped up earlier as well and officials from the had met with Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore but no progress was made.
However, it has been suggested that the clearance process is underway and that efforts are being made to ensure timely approval so that the athletes can reach the venue in time for their events.
It remains to be seen whether the official process will be completed in due course of time and if the athletes can make it before their events start.
It is extremely discouraging to see athletes having to face such issues due to no fault of theirs. Here's hoping the matter is resolved at the earliest and that the players can compete at the Games.