Ajay Jayaram, who was among the Indian shuttlers attempting to kickstart professional badminton after the long break forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, said he was not allowed to board a flight on Friday from Bangalore to Denmark. He is scheduled to play in the Denmark Open Super Series.
While the rest of the Indian squad including Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and Subhankar Dey took an Air France flight from Delhi the previous night, Jayaram was flying with British Airways on Friday morning. The 33-year-old tweeted that he wasn’t allowed to board the flight despite possessing a valid visa and a certificate that said he had tested negative for Covid-19.
Jayaram said he was also carrying an invitation letter from the organisers of the Denmark Open.
Appealing to Air France to let him board a flight, the badminton player tagged the airline in a tweet. “I need to travel from Bangalore to Denmark tonight for the Denmark Open. I have a valid type C visa with Covid negative certficate and invitation letter from organisers stating my cause is worthy. I want to know if I can travel by Air France. Please let me know,” he wrote.
“I wasn’t allowed to board British Airways flight this morning. The rest of the Indian team has flown out with Air France last night from Delhi having the same type C Schengen Visa as me. Kindly help,” he wrote in another tweet in which he tagged Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and the Prime Minister’s official handle.
I wasnt allowed to board @British_Airways flight this morning. The rest of the Indian team has flown out with @airfrance last night from delhi having the same type c schengen visa as me. Kindly help @AirFranceIN
— Ajay Jayaram (@ajay_289) October 9, 2020
“We’ve been training for months in Bengaluru with no sight of a tournament. When the withdrawals began, I sensed I could get an entry,” Jayaram told The Indian Express, on the eve of his departure.
“Everyone’s going to be rusty in their match preparations,” Ajay says, “but also a lot more hungrier, so that should ensure good matches.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines