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SAFF U-20 Championship uncertainty as tournament awaits MEA clearance

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India is set to host the SAFF U-20 Championship which is set to start on July 25 in Bhubaneswar. Although the fate of the tournament appears to be in jeopardy as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has reportedly yet to provide clearance for the event to be held in India. Permission from the Ministry is required as visiting teams from other countries will need to apply for visas to participate in the SAFF U-20 Championship.

The Indian Football Federation (AIFF) has already obtained the required clearances from the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Home Affairs. “We are now worried. Due to the weekend, the earliest the letter could be provided to us is Monday, and that would still leave little time for visiting teams to apply for visas and make (travel) arrangements,” a senior official said. at the Times of India.

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The current conundrum could pose a problem for visiting teams as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives were due to arrive from July 21-22.

India will start their SAFF U-20 Championship campaign against Bangladesh on July 27. Five teams will compete in a round robin format. The top two teams will eventually compete in the final summit clash scheduled for August 5th.

The Indian U-20 team will also take part in the AFC U-20 Asian Cup qualifiers later in the year. India is placed in the same group with Australia, Iraq and Kuwait.

The visa issue has also created big problems during the 2022 FIFAe Nations Cup. Danish Embassy in India.

India are placed in Group D along with Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy.

“The visa application was made in June but the embassy had suspended all visa appointments for short-term visas. Appointments reopened on July 6 and the five-member Indian team submitted everything at the (visa outsourcing) agency on July 8,” a source told The Times of India.

The source claimed that the passports were returned after a week but without the visas. Later, he was informed that the embassy needed a clear 15-day deadline to process the visas.

The FIFAe Nations Cup 2022 is set to be held in Copenhagen. The event will begin on July 27.

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