February 4, 2023 2:45 pm

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Is Spain joining the EU in a Visa war against India?

Embassy of Spain to India said that there was a lack of intent by the Indian delegation to leave the host nation before the expiry of the visa

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Spain hosted the U-23 Wrestling Word Championship this year from 18 to 23 October. However, for the first time in the competition’s history of 6 years, Team India’s wrestlers didn’t feature. A total of 21 of the 30 members wrestling squad were denied visas to Spain by the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi on frivolous grounds.

Interestingly, the Embassy of Spain in India cited the rejection’s reason, for the unreliable information provided by the Indian authorities linked to the stay of the athletes. The embassy further escalated the point that there was a lack of intent by the Indian delegation to leave the host nation before the expiry of the visa.

Spain Embassy denies Visa to U23 Indian wrestlers

On the same, The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) showed its discontent over the matter and expressed disappointment over the decision. WFI’s assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said that WFI had submitted all the required documents for the athletes and coaches by 4th October at Embassy of Spain in India. But since a reply wasn’t received from the embassy’s end, fear of missing out on the deadline led to WFI getting in touch with the Spanish Wrestling Federation’s president, who provided assurance of Visas for all representatives.

However, all the actions were in vain as only 9 athletes were given clearance and the remaining 21 athletes had to suffer from the likes of Reetika Hooda ( Asian champion 2021), Antim Panghal ( U20 World Champion) and other promising athletes. As a matter of fact, WFI has decided to bring the issue to the concerns of the United World Wrestling (UWW). The chief coach of the Greco-Roman squad, Mahabir Prasad, asked to put a fine and ban on Spain and challenged the UWW to take strict action as the latter was the same to ask India in 2019 to include Pakistani wrestlers in the Asian Championship.

Looking at the big picture, as said by multiple sources on the Schengen Visa, the reasons for the delay seem directly linked with the European Union’s exerting pressure on India to abandon the latter’s Pro Russian stance in order to choose the Ukrainian side in the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war. From the end of Visa agents and immigration service providers, it is being said that the EU countries are creating unnecessary delays to hamper business/tourism/education travel. 

Recently, Germany has also raged a new APS policy which makes the student visa harder to obtain for Indian students. From the start of the year, India has been subject to the lowest number of Schengen visas and is constantly on the radar of the EU’s major nations over its abstention from the Ukraine war matter and criticism of the NATO expansion and the EU’s mindset.

Shobhit Chandola
Shobhit Chandola
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