What's the story?
In the latest update regarding the upcoming Asian Wrestling Championships, the Chinese contingent has been denied participation to the competition owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
Considering the widespread coronavirus and as a precautionary measure, India had stopped issuing visas to Chinese nationals from January 15.
Earlier, there had been doubts over the participation of the Chinese contingent at the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championship, that is scheduled to be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi between 18th to 23rd February.
Earlier on Sunday, 16 February, Wrestling Federation of India Secretary Vinod Tomar had sparked speculations of visas not being granted to Chinese wrestlers when he said -
"Health is the priority and this virus is very dangerous. It is something that poses a danger to a lot of people because of which it has gained such international prominence."
The heart of the matter
Putting an end to the uncertainty on February 17, Vinod Tomar told IANS,
"They have not got the visas and there are no chances of them being able to participate in the tournament now."
It has been confirmed now that the 40-member strong Chinese contingent will not be travelling to the national capital.
There might be serious repercussions for Indian wrestling from bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or United World Wrestling (UWW) for not granting the visas.
UWW had stated that the Asian Wrestling Championships will also be considered to determine the ranking for Tokyo Olympics 2020. Hence, this competition was of paramount importance for the Chinese wrestlers as well.
Notwithstanding, the Indian health ministry ensured that no exceptions were made and as a result, visas were not granted to the Chinese wrestlers.
In what could be dire consequences, India may not be able to host future international events and may also be banned from participating in the Asian region qualifier that is scheduled to take place later this year.
Meanwhile, the 6-member Pakistani contingent comprising of four wrestlers, one referee, and one coach has been granted the visas.
It remains to be seen what the repercussions WFI will face as a result of this decision. Meanwhile, renowned Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat will be leading the charge of the 30-member Indian contingent at the Asian Wrestling Championships 2020.Published 17 Feb 2020, 18:09 IST