Representation pic
Representation pic

New Delhi: India's participation in this month's Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai looks doubtful as its 20-member team hasn't got the visas, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) secretary said on Monday.

The competition is scheduled to start on May 21. The Indian team includes 10 women boxers.

"The Indian men and women's boxing teams haven't got visas to travel to Dubai. We are, however, trying our level best to send the teams," said the BFI secretary Hemanta Kalita.

Originally, New Delhi to host the continental competition, but last month the Asian Boxing Confederation shifted the tournament to Dubai because of the raging Covid pandemic in India, particularly in Delhi.

With Covid-19 crisis deepening in India it is unlikely the BFI will send even its staff to officiate in the Asian meet.

"Since we were co-host it was planned to send officials to Dubai, but not now. The situation is scary and I doubt any Indian official would like to go," said Kalita.

The men's team is training in Patiala's National Institute of Sports while the women's camp started on May 5 at Army Sports Institute in Pune.

The BFI had shortlisted 10 elite women boxers for the Pune camp, but only five had joined until a few days ago.

Nine boxers, including four women, have qualified for the Olympic Games, scheduled to begin on July 23 in Tokyo.

NZ refuses to visit India for Hockey Pro League

NEW DELHI: The Indian men's hockey team lost an opportunity to test its competitive skill after its FIH Hockey Pro League home matches against New Zealand this month were postponed as the opponents refused to visit India due to the raging Corona pandemic.

The two matches were to be held on May 29 and 30 in Bhubaneswar.

"Due to the second coronavirus wave in India, the New Zealand men's hockey team has refused to travel to Odisha to play the Pro League matches against India," according to sources.

The matches would have also helped India prepare for the Olympic Games, scheduled to start on July 23 in Tokyo.

Earlier, the Indian men's team's Europe tour to play a series of Pro League matches were put off, again due to the pandemic.

The Great Britain leg of Pro League in London on May 8 and 9 was postponed as Indians were denied visas because coronavirus cases surged in India. The Spanish leg of the league in Valencia on May 15 and 16 was also postponed as the team couldn't travel to Spain.

Germany, too, restricted travellers from India and the hockey team couldn't play matches on May 22 and 23 in Hamburg.

Last month, India competed in the Argentina leg of Pro League. Since then the core group of 33 players have been training at Sports Authority of India training centre in Bengaluru.

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Free Press Journal