Coimbatore: Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday criticized 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 Olymbic Charter and is not acceptable at all,” Anurag Thakur said while speaking reporters. Also Union Minister asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
The two of the Wushu players hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu and Mepung who were approved to participate by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organizing Committee were unable to download their accreditation cards-which act as a visa 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 the individual events of the martial arts sport.