The British government is preventing the current IBSF World Snooker Championship title-holder from taking part in a key international tournament because he is Iranian.
Hossein Vafaee from Iran cruised to championship in the 2011 IBSF event, also known as the World Amateur Snooker Championship, after defeating Welsh star Lee Walker in December last year.
Now a local Iranian Billiards official says he is being denied a British visa to take part in a snooker world league held in London because of the “political problems” between Iran and Britain.
“The London world league, where the most professional billiard-players of the world compete every two months has invited Vafaee to take part in the contests since several months ago, but he has been unable to participate in the tournament due to visa problems,” Mohammad Ali Chaboki, head of Khuzestan Bowling and Billiard Panel told Fars News Agency.
The IBSF World Snooker Championship, held from November 27 to December 3 in India last year, brought together 85 snooker players from around the globe.
Vafaee’s top place in the contests gave him a ticket for the 2012 professional tour.
Britain’s political visa-denials also hit Iranian athletes back in the summer when Iran’s Olympian athletes applied for British visas to take part in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.