Indian para-archery contingent forfeit final Paralympic qualifier due to visa troubles

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The ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India has been a toil for the country’s sportspersons as the para-archery team has been forced to quit from the Paralympics Qualification as well as the World Ranking Tournament in Czech Republic due to visa denial.

Both India and Brazil, two of the most affected countries in the pandemic were termed as “extreme high-risk countries” by Czech Republic and their ministries of health and foreign affairs did not grant visas to the 11-member para-archery team to take part in the event.

The qualifiers, which will be hosted at the town of Nove Mesto from 3rd July until 10th July, is the final event before the Paralympics and was the last opportunity for the Indian para-archers to earn their berth. Now with the visa denial, that hope has been shattered into pieces.

“Sports Authority of India requested the ministry of external affairs’ intervention in securing special permission from the Czech Republic’s national sports agency and the ministries of health and foreign affairs,” an official statement from the sports ministry read.

“However, despite the best efforts, the 11-member Indian para-archery team has not yet secured the visas, leading to its withdrawal from the event,” the statement added.

As per SAI’s suggestion, the Archery Association and Paralympic Committee of the country need to take the matter up to the World Archery and International Paralympic Committee respectively to appeal for an overturn of the Paralympics quotas.

The 2020 Summer Paralympics games are scheduled to begin from 24th August and will be hosted until 5th September in Tokyo, on the heels of the completion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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