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Commonwealth Games 2018: IOA continues to struggle with participants' visas

Commonwealth Games 2018: IOA continues to struggle with participants visas

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Published: 22 March 2018 6:45 AM GMT
With ten days left for the Commonwealth Games in India, it would seem that it is but natural that the Indian Contingent across disciplines to have reached the Gold Coast Venue by now. Far from that being the case, Indian athletes are yet to receive their visas. According to the TOI, there are still 109 visa applications of the travelling part which are yet to be 'approved'. Among these applications, are the likes of wrestlers Sushil Kumar, Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Dhanda. It includes men's hockey player Lalit Upadhyay, women's hockey team player Savita, badminton singles specialist Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, cager Amritpal Singh and shot-putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor and many more. The situation is probably the most dreary for Indian shooters. Almost all the participants in the shooting contingent are yet to receive their visas. This includes every name that you would want to avoid. Gagan Narang, Manu Bhaker, Neeraj Kuman, Mehuli Ghosh- the list goes on.
Also Read: Commonwealth Games 2018: Gymnastics contingent left in a lurch
It is not just the players who are stuck in this hopeless situation. The Indian coaches have it no better and are also yet to have the visa situation sorted by the IOA. Hockey team's analytical coach Christopher Nicholas, women's coach David Ian John, boxing men's foreign coach Santiago Daniel Nieva and women's coach Raffaele Bergamasco (women), basketball team's head coach Zoran Visic and women's team coach Rajinder Singh, are all stuck in limbo. The entire contingent consists of 328 members out of which 222 of them are athletes and 106 of them are officials. With only a week in hand, it has been reported that the final contingent has not yet been finalised by the Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Australia being in a whole different hemisphere would also mean that the athletes would require at least some time in hand to adjust their body clocks to the drastic changes that they are going to face in every way. It would be terribly unfortunate if the performance of the Indian contingent suffers a blow for no fault of their own, but because of the IOA's inability to deal with the situation.
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