Indian contingent for Commonwealth Youth Games faces visa issues

The Indian Olympic Association has addressed the visa requirements pretty late.

The transit visas for Britain or the U.S. could be an issue for the Indian contingent.   -  T. A. Hafeez (Representational Image)

The Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Youth Games to be staged in the Bahamas from July 18 to 23 - with about 30-odd athletes and about half a dozen officials and coaches - has been caught on a sticky wicket with regard to the transit visa.

While Bahamas requires 90-day visas for Indians, which could be fast tracked as a special case, the transit visas for Britain or the U.S. could be an issue, as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has addressed the visa requirements pretty late.

In a communication directed to the concerned national sports federations, the secretary general of IOA, Rajeev Mehta, had advised on Monday that Balmer Lawrie and Company be contacted for the tickets and the Delhi Visa and Consultancy Services for the visas. “The payments towards purchase of air ticket and visa of the members of Indian contingent will be borne by the Indian Olympic Association,” the letter assured.

However, in the normal course, the British visa needs to be applied five weeks in advance. The flight booking is also expected to be an issue as the flights are reportedly full from London to Bahamas for the dates concerned. India is scheduled to compete in athletics, boxing, cycling, judo, swimming and tennis in the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Beach volleyball, beach soccer and Rugby 7s are the other games scheduled to feature in the Games.