Thursday Jun 16, 2022
KARACHI: Pakistani snooker and jiu-jitsu athletes are uncertain about their participation in this year’s World Games, scheduled to be held in America, due to uncertainty over the issuance of visas.
Governing bodies of both — snooker and jiu-jitsu – issued public statements on Thursday expressing their concern over delays in visas due to the backlog at the United States Consulate in Karachi. The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) has also sought help from the Foreign Office.
The PBSA said in a statement that its chairman Alamgir Sheikh had a meeting with foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood and discussed the matter related to Pakistan’s participation in World Games 2022. The meeting was also attended by Director General (Americas) Muhammad Mudassir Tipu.
“The chairman explained the problem faced by the Pakistan snooker team, in obtaining an early appointment for their visas. He requested the foreign secretary to help the Pakistan snooker team regarding the matter,” the PBSA statement said.
“The foreign secretary, Mr Sohail Mahmood, graciously agreed to help the Pakistan snooker team to obtain their visas in time, for their travel to the USA,” the statement added.
Pakistan’s Ahsan Ramzan had qualified for the World Games, a snooker event, after winning the IBSF World Snooker Championship in March earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s jiu-jitsu team is also uncertain about participation in the multisport event in USA’s city Birmingham in Alabama state which will feature athletes from over 100 countries.
Pakistan's highly talented jujitsukas Dilawar Khan Sannan and Isra Waseem qualified to represent Pakistan in the event.
An official of PJF said that they’re still waiting to hear from the US consulate over visa issues.
"Dilawar and Isra’s participation in the duo mixed category of the ju-jitsu discipline at the Games was confirmed by the organisers in the last week of March and we had submitted visa applications in the US Consulate in Karachi well in time but so far we’ve not received any call for the interviews," said Tariq Ali, the associate secretary of PJF.
“But now we fear missing the event,” he added.
Tariq also had to accompany the athletes as manager-cum-coach.
"Qualifying for The World Games is not an easy task. Our duo made a cut to the event on continental quota after putting up impressive shows in different events including world rankings, continental championships and world championships,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, a source at the US consulate said that the backlog is due to pending visa applications delayed earlier because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the source added that in case of urgency in travel, there’re options to expedite the process and information is available on the website.