Thursday Sep 09, 2021
KARACHI: The International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF)'s Snooker World Champion Mohammad Asif will miss this month’s Asian and IBSF World 6 Red Snooker Championship in Qatar after failure to meet vaccination criteria set by the host country.
The Pakistan Billiard and Snooker Association told Geo News that Asif was vaccinated but the COVID-19 vaccine that was administrated to him is not approved for travellers in Qatar.
“Muhammad Asif will be unable to participate in the championship since his visa was not approved by the host country as his COVID-19 vaccination did not fulfil the criteria set by Qatar,” the PBSA said in a statement.
An official of PBSA said that Asif, the IBSF World Champion, had taken the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, which is not approved by the Qatari authorities.
According to the official website of Qatar’s health ministry, the approved list of vaccines included Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Meanwhile, Sinopharm is listed as a “conditionally approved” vaccine.
The PBSA has further said that Asif has been replaced by Haris Tahir in Pakistan’s contingent for the championship. Tahir, along with the already announced Babar Masih, will leave for Doha from Karachi on Friday night.
The 36th Asian men’s snooker championship will be played from September 11-16 while IBSF 6 Red Snooker World Cup will be played from September 17 to 21.