A women's soccer team in Tibet said that they have been denied from getting United States visas to join a tournament in Texas. They said that the US officials told them that they had "no good reason" to visit the US.
Most of the players are Tibetan refugees living in India, and had applied at the US embassy in Delhi. The United States has temporarily barred people from seven countries. But Tibetans and Indians are not on the list.
Cassie Childers, the executive director of Tibet Women's Soccer and a US citizen, said that went with the group of 16 players for their interviews at the 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.
Ms Childers added that she was "ashamed" that her country refused to grant visas to a women's football team.
However, she said she did not think the denial had anything to do with 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."
Most of the women in the team carry Indian Identity Certificates, which are documents issued by the Indian government to Tibetan refugees and function as passports.
Two members of the group held Indian passports.
A US official told the AP news agency that they did not comment on individual cases, but that the US position on Tibet had not changed, which is that Tibet is still recognized as part of China.
They were planning to take part in the Dallas Cup, a yearly tournament for youth teams from around the world.
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