As reported recently, the Tibet Women’s Soccer team, the “Snow Lionesses,” has been denied visas to come to the U.S. They were planning to join in an upcoming tournament. The team, based in India and coached by New Jersey native Cassie Childers was told that they “have no good reason to visit the U.S.”
Last week, two congressmen from New Jersey, Rep. Chris Smith and Rep. Tom MacArthur, both Republicans, asked Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reconsider the denial of entry issued to members of the Tibet Women’s Soccer Team. The visas would have allowed members of the team to travel to Texas for the Dallas Cup, April 9-16 of this year.
In the letter, the congressmen noted that the cup has in the past hosted “Israeli-Palestinian teams, Iraqi teams, and mixed South African and Protestant-Catholic Irish teams…”
What’s more, the Tibet Women’s Soccer team was scheduled to meet the mayor of Dallas, to lead the opening day procession into the Cotton Bowl stadium, and receive widespread media coverage. [read the full letter from both congressmen to Tillerson ]
As noted by the Dallas Star Telegram:
“International sports tournaments, such as the Dallas Cup, have a way of healing wounds and developing peaceful ties between nations,” Smith said in a statement. “The U.S. needs to do more to foster the organizations that make these peaceful gatherings possible. We must ensure that these girls’ applications are clearly reviewed and given fair consideration.”
“We believe that the visit of the Tibet Women’s Soccer team advances the goals of both U.S. foreign policy and international sports diplomacy…”