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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Uncertainty looms large over the participation of Pakistan Athletes in the upcoming 22nd Asian Athletics Championship to be held at Kalinga Stadium here at Bhubaneswar from July 5.

In an exclusive interview to OTV, President of Athletics Federation of Pakistan Akram Sahi attributed the uncertainty over participation in the mega event as their contingent is yet to get visa.

“We are prepared and keen to participate in this championship but unfortunately our athletes and officials haven’t got the visa so far,” said Sahi.

Sahi while responding to OTV through an e-mail further claimed that the Pakistan delegation is left with only one day and if the visa is not endorsed by tomorrow, it will not be possible for them to make it to the championship.

However, the Athletics Federation of Pakistan claimed that the officials of Indian Athletics and organising Committee is doing its best to get the visas endorsed.

“We are grateful to them and appreciate their efforts in the greater interest of sports in Asia,” Sahi added.

Athletes from other countries with e-Visa are also going to face serious problem at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here as the airport lacks e-Visa facility. Athletes who arrive with e-Visa will have to return to their arrival airports and complete their immigration formalities.

The immigration authority has urged Athletics Federation of India to issue directives to all teams participating in the championships.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary AP Padhi has requested Union Home Secretary to provide e-Visa facility at Bhubaneswar airport.

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