New Delhi, Dec 13: R Swaminathan, Delhi Chief Passport Officer (CPO) on Saturday, Dec 13 assured Saina Nehwal, India's best badminton player and world number 10 that her passport would be delivered on time. He made this assurance when it was brought to his notice that Saina"s passport is caught in red tape and has not renewed by the Regional Passport Office of Hyderabad.
Saina is set to play one of world's top badminton tournaments BWF World Super Series Masters Final in Malaysia which will begin from Thursday, Dec 18. P Gopichand, Saina's coach said that she was invited to the tournament after two Chinese players ranked higher than her pulled out.
When asked about the issue Saina said, "The passport officer didn't even want to meet me and so I couldn't explain my case to him. The passport office refused to renew my passport and asked me to come on Monday. I requested him thrice but to no avail."
However Saina said that she is still hopeful of getting her passport in time to join seven other players at the BWF World Super Series Masters Final in Malaysia.
"I am in shock since yesterday. This is the highest tournament that an Indian player has got a chance to play. I will still try to make it to the tournament if I get the passport. I will go to Chennai and try and get the visa after that," she said.
"This does not happen to cricketers and film stars. Then why me? It's a very important tournament for me," she added.
Reports say that authorities had told Saina that her passport will not be renewed before next Monday, Dec 15. Saina's renewed passport was to be issued by Dec 10 but the lapse on the part of the Regional Passport Office of Hyderabad may cost the badminton player one of the biggest opportunities of her career.
The BWF World Super Series Masters Final in Malaysia from Dec 18 to 21 allows only world's top eight players to participate.
When she got the news of her qualification, she sought an appointment with the passport officer on Friday, Dec 12 but her request was brushed aside, with the officer"s secretary telling her to come on Monday.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)