The Czech Republic authorities denied visas to six archers and five officials.

The Indian Para-Archery team has withdrawn from the Final Paralympics Qualification and World Ranking Tournament in Nove Mesto after the Czech Republic did not issue visas to the six archers and five officials. The event is scheduled to be held from July 3 to 10. Compound archer Jyoti Baliyan was expected to battle it for a Paralympic quota.

Sports Authority of India requested the Ministry of External Affairs’ intervention in securing special permission from the Czech Republic’s National Sports Agency and the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs. However, despite the best efforts, the 11-member Indian para-archery team has not yet secured the visas, leading to its withdrawal from the event.

World Archery and the local organising committee had informed Archery Association of India that Para-Archers Brazil and India had been marked as extreme high-risk countries by the Czech Republic whose Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs had not given the clearances for the Indian Para-Archers.

Consequently, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has advised the Archery Association of India and Paralympic Committee of India to take up the matter with World Archery and International Paralympic Committee respectively and protest that the quotas in the Final Qualification for Tokyo Paralympics be rescinded.

It may be recalled that back in February 2019, the International Olympic Committee decided to scrap two Olympic quota places out of the 16 that were to be available at the ISSF World Cup New Delhi because Indian visas were not made available to two 25m rapid fire pistol shooters from Pakistan.

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