Bureaucracy and paperwork have once again played spoilsport for sportspersons in the city. Abhishek Dubey, an exponent of Taekwondo, is pondering if all his training has gone down the drain, as he and his two other teammates were denied visas to South Korea to participate in the Chuncheon Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships.
Dubey, a 33-year-old Chembur resident and a representative of India at several international competitions, is shattered as he won’t be allowed to participate in what was going to be his last competition before he hung up his gloves to focus on his career.
Speaking to MiD DAY, a dejected Dubey said, “I visited the Consulate General of Republic of Korea’s Mumbai office at Peddar Road and applied for a visa along with my team members -- Muklesh Khan (26) and Rajan Singh (22) -- on June 17 and paid the required fees amounting to Rs 7,000 (receipt available with MiD DAY) as processing charges.”
He added that he had applied for a multiple-entry visa, while the other two had applied for single-entry visa and also provided all the documents -- including copy of the invitation, bank statements and even Income Tax returns.
“Two days later (June 19), when I visited the Consulate to collect my passport, I found that the visa was not allotted and when I inquired with the officials, they refused to respond,” said Dubey, adding, “I have been to Korea eight times in the past and have participated in various competitions. I submitted all the documents that were asked of me and even then my visa has been denied.
All I am asking for is a reason for denying my visa. My other two mates were going to Korea for the first time and at least, their visas should have been cleared but, even their requests were denied without a reason.”
The martial artist said that the decision by the consulate could hurt the morale of players. “We have been training night and day for this tournament and even went to Korea and trained there for two months. However, when it is finally the time for us to perform and participate, a mere formality is preventing us from reaching our goals and dreams. Korea is the Mecca for any person who does Taekwondo and I fail to understand this decision at all.”
The other side
“The Consulate is not supposed to share any reason for non-issuance of visa to any applicant, as we are abided by the counsel rules,” said the visa officer, attached to Consulate General of Republic of Korea, Mumbai office.