A group of young wrestlers made a desperate attempt to get their visas to visit Azerbaijan for the World cadet wrestling championship to be held at Baku from August 21 to 27.
Around 10 wrestlers staged a protest in front of the Azerbaijan embassy here on Saturday to show their displeasure over the delay in issuing visas.
“We had applied for the visa on August 10. When we approached the embassy staff on Friday, they said it was not ready and asked us to wait. In the evening, they told us that the visa applications had not been cleared from Baku. When we contacted the officials in Baku, they said they had sent the visas (to India). Today nobody is there to listen to us,” said Anil Mann, one of the coaches of the wrestling team.
“The chances of the wrestlers’ participation appear bleak as the next two days are holidays. Our freestyle wrestlers have to reach Baku urgently as their event starts on Tuesday and the weigh-in is on Sunday. The rest of them (10 each in the Greco-Roman and women’s categories) can afford to go a little later,” he added.
“They are talented kids and three of them have recently won medals in the Asian cadet championship in Kyrgyzstan. They are likely to miss a golden opportunity to prove their worth on the world stage,” said Mann. Later in the day, the wrestlers knocked on the doors of the Union Sports Ministry, which assured them that it would do its best. — Principal Correspondent