Visa problems making it tough to play in India: Pakistani golfer | other | Hindustan Times
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Visa problems making it tough to play in India: Pakistani golfer

other Updated: Sep 18, 2010 20:26 IST

The only Pakistani golfer playing at the DLF Masters, Imdad Hussain says visa problem is making it difficult for golfers from his country to play more often in India.

43-year-old Imdad, who had finished on top of the leaderboard at the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) pre qualifying II for the 2010 season in Jaipur, said golfers from Pakistan get visas only for a particular tournament, so it becomes difficult for them to participate in all events.

"I played in the Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club for the first time in 1989 but this is my first PGTI event in India. It is great playing in India. People are so friendly. But getting visas only for specific tournaments makes it difficult to participate in all the events. Multiple visas could have made life easier for us," said Imdad, who was 11-over 227 after round three at the DLF golf and country club in Gurgaon.

Imdad comes from a family of golfers but says that it is difficult to be a golfer in Pakistan as the federation there is not as active as it is in India and players also don't get sponsors.

"My father was a four-time national champion and my brother also won the national champion few times. But it is difficult to get a sponsor in Pakistan. Here even the local players have sponsors. The federation in Gurgaon is also very active as compared to Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF). So players have to spend from their pockets," he said.

The seven-time national champion said the sport has also got affected by the floods and terrorism in the country.

"Due to the security issues, foreign golfers are scared to come to Pakistan. Moreover, this year, the tournaments had to be cancelled because of floods.