Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Sunday confirmed the participation of Pakistan in the upcoming Asian Wrestling Championships which is slated to be held in New Delhi from February 18 to 23. Also Read - Asian Wrestling C'ships: Jitender Kumar Settles For Silver on Final Day
Visas were granted to the Pakistani wrestlers after a combined effort from the federation, the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Ministry to inform the Ministry of Home Affairs of the repercussions India could otherwise suffer said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. Also Read - Divya Kakran Becomes Second Indian Woman to Win Gold At Asian Wrestling Championships
Tomar also said that in the case of the Chinese wrestlers, they will have to wait till Monday for a decision on whether visas will be granted keeping the outbreak of the coronavirus in mind. Also Read - Sunil Kumar Wins Gold In Asian Wrestling Championships, Breaks 27-Year Wait For India In Greco-Roman
“I had met the sports secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya on Friday who took up the matter with the home secretary immediately. The process took time because of which it spilled over to Saturday when the embassy was directed to issue the visas for them,” Tomar told IANS.
Tomar also lauded IOA President Narinder Batra for pushing the case for Pakistan.
“IOA president Narinder Batra also put in a lot of efforts and all this led to the Pakistani contingent getting visas on a Saturday when government offices are normally shut.”
The Pakistani contingent is expected to reach New Delhi on February 18. The team includes a referee, a coach and four wrestlers — Muhammad Bilal (57kg), Abdul Rehman (74kg), Tayab Raza (97kg) and Zaman Anwar (125kg).