Asian Wrestling championships 2020: Will the Chinese wrestlers granted visas in middle of Coronavirus crisis ?

By   - 04/02/2020

Amid the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, it is unclear whether Chinese wrestlers will be participating in the Asian wrestling championships, 2020 in New Delhi from February 18-23. The Union Health ministry has issued an advisory which has refrained people from travelling to China. The advisory also said that anyone with travel history in China from January 15 and now could be quarantined. Not only this E-Visa facility available to Chinese citizens coming to India also has been put on hold. The advisory of the health ministry stated that the e-visa facility for Chinese passport holders has been temporarily suspended. The virus was declared a global health emergency by the World HealthOrganisation (WHO) on January 31.

In middle of this unprecedented crisis the big question is – will Chinese wrestlers and coaching staff will be granted visas to India ?

The Wrestling Federation of India is optimistic as it said that the visa requests and passport details of the Chinese wrestlers have already been forwarded to the concerned authorities. However, when asked about the chances of their participation, the federation stayed non-committal.

Also Read: All you want to know about the schedule, draws, wrestlers, timings of broadcast for the European Wrestling Championships

“All documents pertaining to Chinese wrestlers, their passport details have been forwarded to the ministry of external affairs a few days ago. China has asked for Visas for 40 people, including 30 wrestlers,” said Vinod Tomar of WFI.

In an interview to English daily, WFI President was quoted as saying that the clear picture about the participation of the Chinese wrestlers will only emerge after few days.

“We have done our work. Now it completely depends on the government. We would definitely want Chinese wrestlers to take part in the event. We will get a clear picture only after few days,” Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, WFI chief said.

Meanwhile, the ministry of sports and youth affairs has highlighted that the guidelines of the advisory issued by the health ministry should be strictly followed.

“Whatever will be the travel advisory of the health ministry, will be adhered to strictly by us,” said RS Julaniya, secretary of the sports ministry, to The New Indian Express. Delegations from various participating nations will start arriving in the country on February 16 for the Championships. The event will begin on February 18 with competitions in the Greco-Roman category, followed by contests in women’s and men’s freestyle.

Chinese wrestling squad was planning to arrive in India 1 week in advance so that they could acclimatize to the conditions but in midst of visa woes those plans have already been shelved. Now the big question is whether the Indian authorities will actually grant visas to Chinese delegation and even if they do, what measures they will undertake to check that none of the member of the Chinese squad is carrying symptoms of deadly Coronavirus.

China was number 2 in the medal tally at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships with 16 medals. They will again start as favorite in some of the categories provided the Indian government decides to grant them visas and they are allowed to participate.

Wrestling (Kushti) fans can catch Live Streaming, Highlights, News, Videos, Photos, Results and Rankings on WrestlingTV

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