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Asian Games: OCA takes up case of three Indian wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh denied entry to China

IANS | September 22, 2023 02:27 PM

HANGZHOU: The Organising Committee of the Hangzhou Asian Games and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have taken up the matter with the Chinese government over the denial of entry into the country for three Indian wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh, who have qualified for the Asiad.

The three female Wushu players -- Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu -- were scheduled to fly out to China on Wednesday night from IGI Airport in Delhi. But have not been able to reach China till Friday, a day before the Opening Ceremony and two days before the start of the Wushu competitions.

There are conflicting reports here in Hangzhou with some officials claiming that two of the three Wushu players have received e-accreditation (which for the Asian Games also serves as a visa) but could not download and validate it, while the third player did not get the accreditation. The only clear thing was that the three players did not get a physical visa. In case they were not given accreditation, it would be a clear violation of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) rules and also a violation of the Olympic charter.

Bhupinder Singh Bajwa, the chef-de-mission of the Indian Contingent in Hangzhou said they have taken up the matter with the organising committee of the Asian Games and they are trying to work out a solution.

The question was raised on Friday in a press conference addressed by senior OCA and Organising Committee officials where OCA Acting-Director Vinod Kumar Tiwari said they have taken up the matter with the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee, which in turn will be talking to the Chinese government on this issue.

"This matter was brought to our notice on Thursday night and we have raised it with HAGOC. They have taken it up with the Chinese government, " he said.

OCA's acting president, Randhir Singh of India said the matter was discussed during the meeting of OCA Working Group here in Hangzhou and they are actively pursuing the matter with the organising committee of the Asian Games.

Talking on behalf of the Chinese authorities, Jizhong Wei, a member of the Coordination Commission and Honorary Life Vice-President of the Olympic Council of Asia claimed that the three wushu players were not denied visas but given different types of visas, which they refused to take.

"The players were not denied a visa, they were given a different kind of visa which they refused to take because of which they could not fly out to China, " he claimed.

However, in the case of the Asian Games, the prevalidated accreditation card itself acts as a visa and therefore his statement adds to the confusion that is prevailing. The Indian Olympic Association officials said the chef-de-mission is handling the matter and they too are not sure of the entire case.

With the matter threatening to blow up into a diplomatic row between India and China, the three young players are cooling their heels in New Delhi while other members of the Wushu contingent will be participating in the Asian Games.

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