THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > SPORTS Due to insufficient funds: Taekwondo contingent denied Canadian visas
The Pakistan Taekwondo Federationâ€™s (PTF) campaign for the 2016 World Junior Taekwondo Championship has been dealt a major blow as host country Canada refused to issue visas to two of the four traveling athletes as well as three officials for the event which begins on November 14 in Burnaby.
Among the personnel refused visas are PTF president Waseem Ahmed, athletes Zaheer Baig and Obdoon Butt as well as coaches Najia Khan and Rizwan Bangash.
Ahmed admitted that the visa setback came as a shock as the players had been training for two and a half months.
â€œIt is very upsetting and extremely disappointing. We had fulfilled all the formalities and the government also gave us the NOCs,â€ Ahmed told The Express Tribune. â€œThe Pakistan Sports Board was also supporting us so it is just mind-boggling why we were not issued the visas. Our players are 15 and 16-year-olds while all the officials are well-travelled individuals.â€
He continued: â€œWeâ€™ve raised the issue with World Taekwondo Federation and the organisers as countries like ours should not be treated in this manner.â€
The PTF supremo then revealed that the reason given for their refusal of visas was â€˜insufficient fundsâ€™ in PTFâ€™s account.
â€œThey raised the issue that we donâ€™t have enough money, but we actually do, as the Pakistan government also gave us Rs1 million for this event. Of course, we donâ€™t have extra money but we had enough to participate and return to Pakistan,â€ Ahmed explained.
The visa issue does not affect US-based athletes Mahnoor and Nimra Wasiq, who will be competing at the championship.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2016.