Passport validity and visa issues lead to Ghanaian athletes missing 2023 World Championships

Ghana Athletics has issued an explanation regarding the non-participation of two athletes, Rose Yeboah and Sarfo Ansah, in the 2023 World Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.

Initial reports indicate that both athletes were unable to secure visas from the Hungarian Embassy in Accra, which ultimately prevented their involvement in the esteemed competition.

Rose Yeboah, the African Champion in the women’s high jump, recently achieved gold at the World University Games in China with an impressive new national record of 1.94m.

In an official statement, Ghana Athletics clarified that Yeboah’s participation was hindered due to the limited validity of her passport. Her passport had less than six months remaining from the start of the Championships on August 19th, which did not meet the necessary requirement of at least six months of passport validity for a visa application.

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Ghana Athletics was informed of her selection as a wildcard participant by World Athletics around August 6th, while she was actively competing in the World University Games. Unfortunately, it was on August 7th that her passport expiration issue was flagged by the World Athletics roster system, effectively disqualifying her entry.

Despite her earnest efforts to expedite a passport renewal, the time constraints compelled her to depart for the United States on August 15th for educational pursuits. Given the unlikely possibility of securing a visa in time for the Championships, she made the difficult decision to prioritize her schooling.

The statement also acknowledged the omission of Sarfo Ansah from the team. Ansah, a sprinter who was included in the relay team as a replacement for Benjamin Azamati due to the latter’s injury, encountered similar visa challenges, as stated by Ghana Athletics.

In contrast to Yeboah’s situation, the Hungarian Consulate in Ghana did not provide an explanation for the rejection of Ansah’s visa application. Ghana Athletics was not given clarification regarding the denial.

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The remaining members of Ghana’s athletics team are currently in France for training and are scheduled to depart for Budapest on Friday. Notable among them is Joseph Paul Amoah, the holder of Ghana’s 200m record, who secured a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This marked Ghana’s first bronze in the event since 1978.

The 2023 World Athletics Championships, spanning a period of ten days, are set to commence on Saturday, August 19th.

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