Hockey World Cup 2018: Pakistan journalists denied visa to cover event

Two young Pakistani sports journalists from Karachi and Peshawar, who were also expected here as part of the Young Sports Journalists Training Programme, will also miss the trip as they too have not been granted visas despite applying a month back.

other sports Updated: Nov 28, 2018 12:40 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
hockey world cup 2018,hockey world cup,india
Image for representation only.(AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani journalists, who had applied for Indian visas to cover the hockey World Cup, have been left disappointed as their passports have been returned without being stamped. This comes a week after the Pakistan hockey team was granted visas after much deliberation with the Indian embassy in Islamabad.

“Seven journalists had applied but none of them have been granted visas,” Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary-general Shahbaz Ahmad said from Lahore.

Another PHF official, who did not wish to be named, added, “Why should journalists be denied visas? They are the ones who bridge the gap. They only wanted to cover the World Cup as hockey in India and Pakistan is big. The journalists would have liked to travel to India as the culture, language etc is the same and they wanted to experience it.”

Two young Pakistani sports journalists from Karachi and Peshawar, who were also expected here as part of the Young Sports Journalists Training Programme, will also miss the trip as they too have not been granted visas despite applying a month back.

The Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI), with the approval of international sports press association (AIPS Asia), had invited young journalists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia besides India to attend the World Cup.

“Only applications of Pakistan nationals have been rejected. Why they haven’t been granted visas is something that doesn’t fall in our purview,” said S. Saba Nayakan, SJFI’s chairman of international affairs and AIPS vice-president.

The AIPS Asia secretary-general, Amjad Aziz Malik, too has been denied visa.

First Published: Nov 28, 2018 12:39 IST