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I believe sports can bring the two nations together: Pakistan coach on bridging the India-Pakistan divide

I believe sports can bring the two nations together: Pakistan coach on bridging the India-Pakistan divide
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By

Akshat Mehrish

Published: 25 July 2018 7:05 AM GMT
Pakistan Wrestling team manager, Muhammad Riaz, has once again echoed the long-standing belief, that sports can bring the two nations together. His comments came at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship, which took place at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi. The Championship took place over the course of four days, from July 19 to July 22. Given the green light by the United World Wrestling, the tournament took place at the KD Jadhav stadium in New Delhi, where young athletes from all over Asia showcased their talents. Iran was the big winner at the Championship, despite Indian winning eight medals. The Indian contingent took home two gold medals, three silver medals, and three bronze medals; accumulating a total of one hundred and seventy-three points (173). However, India's points tally could only provide them with a second-place finish, as Iran topped with one hundred and eighty-nine points (189). Uzbekistan finished third with one hundred and twenty-eight points (128). There was controversy initially, as the Pakistan Wrestling team were
denied their visas
, in order to come and participate at the Championship. However, Wrestling Federation of India's President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh came to their rescue, clearing the matter with time running out. Pakistan Wrestling team manager Muhammad Riaz acknowledged Brij Bhushan Singh's contribution, stating that the issue was turning into a political one before the WFI President intervened. Muhammad Riaz also talked about how if given the opportunity, sports can bring the two nations together. "I believe sports can bring the two nations together. Be it cricket, hockey, kabaddi or wrestling, if you organize an Indo-Pak event, then you will definitely observe the excitement people have for such matches,
" the team manager said as he spoke to the New Indian Express. Pakistani wrestler Haseeb Mustafa also reiterated the feelings of his team manager and said that a player should not face injustice because of the ongoing politics. He too was speaking to the New Indian Express.  "Due to politics, players often face difficulty to participate in cross country events. We do not get the opportunity. This should end. A player should not face injustice because of that," said Mustafa. Issues such as these, have arisen in the past as well. Recently, the same problem occurred when Pakistan's Junior Squash team were trying to come to India for a tournament. However, as wrestler Mustafa said, such things have no place when it comes to the realm of sports.
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