Visa problems keep Nigeria etc. away from Odense
18 Aug 2009 at 21:59 | Published by: JJM | Views: 6190 | News search
Visa stamps from various Asian countries. (Photo by Mattes / Wikipedia 2005 PD)
Nigerian minigolfers have today announced that their visa application was delayed too much, and they cannot travel to World Championships in Odense, Denmark. Also some other players from outside of Europe have experienced delays getting a visa, causing them to lose some of the 5 training days before the tournament.
European visa policies are extremely tight nowadays, especially towards citizens of countries from which illegal immigrants typically arrive to Europe. Sport and student visas are commonly used as a camouflage for illegal immigration to Europe. Players who have little or no earlier history playing a sport that they want to play in Europe (as is the case with the Nigerian minigolf players) can make the European visa authorities suspicious and unwilling to cooperate. The visa situation will probably be easier for players who have a history of several years playing the sport in their own country, before they apply for a visa to competitions in Europe.
Last year in Tampere, team Ukraine received from EMF assistance for more than 10 visas, but only 6 persons were ever seen at the minigolf course. Where the other persons went (if they ever arrived to Europe), this is a question that the visa authorities try to answer before the travel ever begins.» information about the visa policies of European Union