Sydney, Jun 12: Indian lawn bowls team, consisting of 16 players and a trainer, has been denied Australian visa on doubts if the Indians could financially support themselves in Sydney, where they were invited to play at St Johns Park Bowling Club.
The team was invited to play at the western Sydney club as part of a training programme for the Commonwealth Games 2010, which is scheduled to begin in Oct 2010 in New Delhi.
Despite Indian team"s coach, Australian Richard Gale's assurance that the teams' expenditure was to be taken care of by the Indian government, the immigration officials at New Delhi seemed to have their doubts.
“Consideration was given to each applicant"s reasons for visiting Australia, their financial capacity and their incentives to return to their home country," an immigration spokesman was quoted as saying by 'The Age"
“If applicants have insufficient funds to support their stay or a determination is made there are insufficient incentives for an applicant"s return home, the visa application is refused.
“People from all countries have the same right and opportunity to enter our country," he added.
Responding to this, the angry coach said, “This is the ultimate case of Indian-bashing by government officials ... To improve, you have to play the best players in the world and that"s Australia,"