United States (US) authorities denied visas to the Tibet women’s football team which was looking forward to participate in a tournament in Texas, claimed the team.
The players say they were told they had ‘no good reason’ to travel to US.
Most of the players reside in India, while some are based in Nepal.
Executive Director Tibet Women’s Soccer Cassie Childers, a US citizen, told BBC that she had accompanied the group of 16 players for interviews at the US embassy on February 24.
“I am disappointed because we had planned the trip for months. It was a big moment in every player’s life when they were told about the trip. It was their opportunity to tell the world that Tibetan women are capable of achieving anything,” she said.
Childers said she was “ashamed” that her country refused to grant visas to a women’s football team.
However, she believed that the visa rejections have no connection to the recent Muslim ban issue which was proposed by the Trump administration.
“I had feared an outcome like this because Tibetans usually struggle to get US visas as officials fear that they might request asylum,” she said.
She added that her team “was in good spirits despite this setback”.
“The players are very positive. I was very dejected but they motivated me. I hope some other place will invite us where Tibetans are welcomed. Otherwise, we will just get together in an Indian city and practice anyway.”