The Archery Association of India (AAI) was forced to withdraw the Indian junior and sub-junior squads from the World Youth Archery Championships to be held at Yankton, in the US, as 20 of the 32 young archers were denied visas by the US embassy in Delhi.
The visas were denied on the basis of a section of the US visa law where the archers failed to satisfy the visa officers that they will return to India after the event. Despite their best efforts the AAI was unable to convince the US embassy officials.
The embassy also denied visas to the young archers’ South Korean Coach and his three Indian assistants and a masseuse.
What was odd was that the tour had the sanction of the government of India and the US Archery Association had formally invited the Indian teams. The AAI had also approached the US organisers as well as archery’s world governing body FITA to help resolve the issue, but time did not allow it.
AAI official Virender Sachdeva felt the problem arose because the young kids are from poor backgrounds and are not well-versed in the English language, so they could not communicate clearly. This may have raised doubts in the mind of the visa officer who refused the visas.