Asian Games: Three wushu athletes miss flight to China after visa issue

Three female wushu athletes from Arunachal Pradesh — Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu — have not travelled with the India squad to Hangzhou for the Asian Games after being denied accreditation for the event, which also works as a visa to enter the country. The Asian Games officially starts on Saturday.

The three athletes were scheduled to fly out of India on Thursday night with eight other members of the wushu contingent but had to stay back without proper clearance as their accreditation could not be downloaded.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur cancelled his upcoming visit to Hangzhou as a mark of protest against China’s decision to deny the visas. Meanwhile, the OCA’s acting president Randhir Singh on Friday said they are actively pursuing the matter with the relevant Chinese authorities.

However, Wei Jizhong, chairman of OCA’s ethics committee, said the “Indian athletes have been granted the visa to enter China.”

“These Indian athletes have already got the visa to enter China. China didn’t refuse any visa. The problem is according to Chinese govt regulations, we have the right to give them different kind of visas. We have an arrival visa, we have a paper visa, and we have a passport as visa,” he said.

“Unfortunately, these athletes didn’t accept this visa. I don’t think this is an OCA problem because China has an agreement to let all the athletes who have certified eligibility to come to compete in China. This is clear. The visa has already been granted,” Jizhong said.

In July, India had cancelled its wushu team’s trip to Chengdu for the World University Games when China issued stapled visas to the players.

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