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Asian Snooker Meet in Bengaluru Scrapped as India Denies Visa to Six Pakistani Players

According to a report, a senior Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) official has claimed that the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sport decided to scrap the event after the organisers could not guarantee entry of the six players.

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Updated:February 24, 2019, 11:53 AM IST
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Asian Snooker Meet in Bengaluru Scrapped as India Denies Visa to Six Pakistani Players
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New Delhi: The Asian snooker meet, scheduled to be held in Bengaluru next week, has been cancelled after India refused visas to six Pakistani and Pakistan-origin players. The development comes two days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to “suspend all discussions” with India regarding hosting of global sporting events after Pakistani shooters were not issued visas for the World Cup in New Delhi.

Due to denial of visas to the Pakistani shooters in the wake of last week's Pulwama terror attack in which over 40 paramilitary soldiers were killed, the IOC said it will not allow India to organise any Olympic-related events in the future, unless written assurances are obtained from the government.

According to a report in the Indian Express, a senior Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) official has now claimed that the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sport decided to scrap the event after the organisers could not guarantee entry of the six players. The report said a Pakistan-born Qatari player, Ahmed Saif, was among those not granted a visa.

The Asian Tour 10 Reds Snooker tournament was to be held in the last week of March, with 24 players taking part in it. This is the first instance of a tournament being cancelled because the government denied visas to Pakistani athletes.

Earlier this week, a three-member Pakistani team was denied visas to compete in the shooting World Cup, which started in Delhi Saturday.

Consequently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday came down heavily on India for going against the Olympic charter relating to discrimination and political interference from the host country. It instructed all sporting federations to ‘neither award nor hold’ sports events in India until they receive written assurances from the government that participants from all nations will be guaranteed entry.

“The Asian Tour supposed to be held in Bengaluru in late March has been called off. It was a decision taken by the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sport’s board. Six players out of the 24 were either Pakistani nationals or of Pakistani origin. There were problems with their visas,” BSFI secretary S Balasubramiam said.

This was the third leg of the 10 Reds tournament, a recently-introduced format of the game.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) rammed a vehicle carrying a huge quantity of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. Since then, relations between the two countries have deteriorated further.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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