A cloud of uncertainty looms over India’s participation at the FIDE World Junior Chess Championship with some of the players yet to get their visas to travel to Mexico city for the prestigious tournament beginning on Wednesday.
According to sources, the players are scheduled to leave for the Mexican capital on Monday, and the delay has resulted in a lack of clarity and uncertainty regarding their participation in the global event.
Speaking to PTI, FIDE Advisory Board Chairman Bharat Singh Chauhan said, “Despite all the best effort and clearance from the Indian government, we are yet to receive the clearance from the Mexican embassy, which has resulted in the delay of visas being issued.
“Tomorrow (Monday), the players are scheduled to leave, and the matter has been kept hanging till the last day, with no clarity if the visas would indeed be issued on time.” According to the data sheet in possession of PTI, five of the Indian players, who are being funded by the Government of India, are yet to receive their visas.
The players affected are Vrashank Chouhan, Arun Kataria, Bhagyashree Patil, Prraneeth Vuppala and Femil Chelladurai, along with coaches Pravind Thipsay M and Kiran Agrawal.
“It is extremely frustrating since all the Indian players are looking forward to participating in the tournament, while the contingent is also one of the strong favourites to come out on top,” Chauhan said.
“The competition is being organised by Mexico’s chess federation with the approval of the Mexican government, and it should be their responsibility to ensure that the embassy gives all the necessary clearance to issue the visa on time.
“The Indian authorities have done their part, and it’s all up to them (Mexican authorities) now. All we can do is remain hopeful for the visa to arrive by today or tomorrow.” He also mentioned that a similar issue is being faced by the Nepal contingent, which is in India and is scheduled to leave for the Mexican capital on Monday.