Visa denial forces Pari Singh to skip European circuit

Though she was selected under the Grand Slam Development Fund of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Pari couldn't procure the Schengen visa to travel to Europe as part of the ITF Asian U-14 team.

Pari Singh had to forego her opportunity to play in Europe because of visa issues. (Representative Image)   -  Reuters Photo

Aspiring young tennis player Pari Singh was deprived of the precious five-week exposure on the European circuit as part of the ITF Asian under-14 team, as repeated attempts to secure the Schengen visa failed.

Selected under the Grand Slam Development Fund of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as the only Indian player following her good performances in two events in the region, Pari was scheduled to join the rest of the Asian squad in Paris at the beginning of this month.

However, her ticket was re-routed to Holland, as she could not get the visa from the French. Subsequently, Pari could not get her visa for the second tournament scheduled in the Netherlands, as an attempt to get the visa from the Dutch also failed, after prior permission from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to join the rest of the team in the second week.

"Unfortunately, Pari did not get her visa even from the Netherlands. There was no news about the visa till 13th when she was scheduled to fly to Amsterdam. So, we had to withdraw," said Pari’s mother Kirti Singh, who had tried her best by presenting all the relevant documents and invitation from the ITF and the concerned national federations.

"It was a big opportunity missed for Pari. She was the only Indian player selected for this European circuit. I have the satisfaction that she did her job nicely in getting selected. It was our failure to get the visa that denied her a great opportunity," said Kirti.

Continuing further, Kirti explained as to how everything was done systematically.

"I got all the required papers from the AITA and ITF. Three times they rescheduled Pari’s ticket from Paris to Amsterdam. They confirmed Pari’s pick up from Netherlands, but all gone waste," remarked Kirti.

She recalled how the constant reply from the Embassy was that the "reason of travel is not clear, stay not clear’’, despite the ITF sending relevant communication and assuring about Pari’s travel, stay etc.

"We gave separate invitation letters from the French and the Dutch associations, mentioning that Pari’s stay was confirmed’’, Kirti pointed out, emphasising the lack of logic in a genuine player being denied the visa.

The European circuit has tournaments in Germany and Belgium apart from France and the Netherlands.