AFPDallas, TX, United StatesMar 01, 2017, 05.10 AM
A Tibet women's soccer team has been denied US visas to participate in a tournament in Dallas. Cassie Childers, a coach and executive director for Tibet Women's Soccer, said that 16 members of the team were told at the US Embassy in New Delhi, India, that they "have no good reason to visit the US," during their visit on February 24.
They were seeking travel visas to participate in the Dallas Cup soccer tournament scheduled to take place April 9-16. Childers, who is from New Jersey, said in an email from India that embassy officials did not glance at the documents nor provide any other reasons or explanations.
All but two of the 16 who visited the embassy hold Indian Identity Certificates, which are issued by the Indian government for Tibetan refugees. They function as passports even though they do not represent citizenship to India. The other two, which includes the head coach, hold Indian passports.
Four players, who live in Nepal and have Nepal passports, had interviews in Kathmandu on February 4. Childers said those cases were put under administrative processing and they have not heard a final decision.
"There is no opportunity for them to defect, and the thought of shaming themselves, their team, and their country in that way sickens them," Childers said.
"This is not an anonymous soccer team that no one would notice if they never came back."
A State Department official said they do not discuss the details of individual visa cases. The records are confidential under the Immigration and Nationality Act.