'Discriminatory, not acceptable': Anurag Thakur slams China for denying visas to three Indian athletes for Asian Games

    The Hawk
    September24/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Anurag Thakur

    Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu): Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday criticised China's refusal to grant visas to three Wushu athletes from Arunachal Pradesh for the 19th Asian Games.
    Thakur labelled this action as "discriminatory" and emphasized that it goes against the Olympic Charter, a stance deemed "unacceptable" by India. 

    The three players from Arunachal Pradesh – Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu were supposed to participate in individual matches which will run from September 24 to 28 at the Guali Cultural and Sports Centre in Xiaoshan district.
    In response, India's Sports Minister cancelled his visit to China as a mark of protest.
    "They did not allow our Athletes from Arunachal Pradesh to participate in Asian Games. As you can see I am not in China, I am in Coimbatore, standing with my players. And this discriminatory approach of a country that is against the Olympic Charter and is not acceptable at all," Anurag Thakur said while speaking to reporters.
    Union Minister asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.

    "It is not acceptable to India and I have cancelled my trip to China on these grounds as they have denied the opportunity to the players from Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of the Asian Games. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India," Thakur added.
    The two of the Wushu players hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu and Mepung who were approved to participate by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organising Committee were unable to download their accreditation cards - which act as visas to enter China.
    The third athlete Nyeman, who managed to download her accreditation, was informed that she would not be allowed to travel beyond Hong Kong. The athletes were to take part in individual events of the martial arts sport.
    Thakur inaugurated the Sri Krishna Stadium in Coimbatore on Saturday.

    "The other institutes should do something like this. Nobody can beat India in the field of sports. I am sure we will have a lot of sportspersons coming here. Chepauk Stadium is a really beautiful stadium and there are many other grounds that are also coming up. We need more tournaments and cricket can go to every local corner. Cricket has the money and the audience to look at and the state cricket associations can do that," he added.

    Thakur said that the Government of India is building 1000 Khelo India centres across the country and he will personally look at the progress of the centres.
    "The Government of India is bulding 1000 Khelo India centres across the country. I will personally look at how institutes can get a couple of Khelo India centres so that many players can get training there," Thakur said.