Colombo FC received some reprieve on Monday when Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka granted visa to their midfielder Momas Yapo to travel to Kolkata.
Colombo FC are up against Indian Giants Mohun Bagan for a place in main round of the Asian Football Confederation AFC Cup. The Sri Lankan side are already under deep pressure after coming into the game with one-goal deficit. In such a scenario, denial of visa to their key players has done no good to their chances in the match.
However, the confirmation of Yapos’ permission has come as a good news for the midfield of the club as the Ivorian’s strong physique will be vital to compete against Bagan centre-halves in a very important game.
Indian High Commission’s changed rules meant that Africans, specially Nigerians are not allowed visa through Sri Lanka. Striker Afeez Olayemi and defender Nasiru Opeyemi are both Nigerians and this acted as a tough roadblock in their visa requests.
However, Ivorian nationality of Yapo is what saved him from facing similar fate and he was ultimately granted a visa. It was reported in one of the earlier reports by this website that Colombo FC owner’s were trying their best to get approval for the midfielder’s visa and the results have come as a great success for them.
Yapo is expected to reach the city around four to five hours ahead of the match, after travelling 1800 miles through air. Though this is not an ideal build-up for a player to play in such a difficult match, coach Mohamed Roomy Hasan might be forced to draft the midfielder into the final XI due to absence of ideal replacement for the Ivorian.
First-timer’s Colombo FC have landed in Kolkata to create history by becoming the first club from their country to qualify for the main event of the continental tournament. With the limited resources they have, they would like to accomplish their mission to prove to the world that “When there is a will, there is a way!”
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