Ahead of the UCI Junior Track World Championships on August 15-19 at Aigle in Switzerland, the Swiss embassy has refused to issue visa to the Indian squad citing problems in their application, Cycling Federation of India (CFI) Secretary General Onkar Singh confirmed on Monday.
According to Singh, the CFI had sent the invitation letter from the tournament’s organising committee along with the application. Despite that, the Swiss embassy stated that “justification for purpose and conditions intended for stay wasn’t provided” as the grounds for refusing visa to the Indian players.
The online registration for the tournament opener on Monday, but Singh said that had nothing to do with the visa process. The federation has written to the organising committee of the World Championships, seeking their intervention.
He also wrote to the embassy, requesting them to issue the visa so that the six-member Indian team, comprising Amar Singh (coach), Bilal Ahmad Dar, Gurpreet Singh, Manoj Sahu, Naman Kapil and Venkappa Shivappa can travel to the championship venue.
“We had applied for a normal visa with all the valid documents and papers. But, unfortunately, we were refused on grounds that justification for purpose and conditions intended for stay wasn’t provided,” Singh told IANS on Monday.
Singh, however, pointed out that the embassy had not “rejected” the application but had only “refused” it for the time being with an option to appeal.
“They haven’t rejected our application yet, but just refused it. They also gave us an option to appeal if we wanted at 200 Swiss francs (Rs 13,891). We have written to the organising committee and requested them to get in touch with the embassy to end this confusion and get the team the required documents at the earliest,” he said.
Asked if the CFI has contacted the Sports Ministry regarding the issue, Singh said: “We are currently waiting for a response from the organising committee, after that we will consider other options.”
The Indian squad is currently fine-tuning their skills at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here and Singh said the team was in “pretty good shape” ahead of the tournament.