Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has sought help from the Indian Sports Ministry after her son, Izhaan Mirza-Malik, was denied a visa by United Kingdom (UK) authorities. 

Mirza, who will be playing a couple of tournaments in the coming days in the UK, has been facing a dilemma after her two-year-old son and his caretaker were denied a visa, owing to travel restrictions imposed by the UK on Indian nationals. 

The tennis sensation is scheduled to compete in the Nottingham Open (from June 6), Birmingham Open (from June 14), the Eastbourne Open (from June 20) and the Wimbledon (from June 28).

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The sports ministry said it was approached by Mirza, who said she could not leave a two-year-old child behind to take part in a month-long tournament. 

“Sania, who is a part of the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), approached the Ministry requesting help with the visa of her son and his caretaker. Sania stated that she cannot leave a two-year-old child behind as she travels for a month,” said the ministry in a statement. 

The ministry said it dispatched a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs in India, asking it to take the matter up on an urgent basis with the UK authorities through the Indian embassy in London.

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“The request was immediately taken up by the Sports Ministry and a letter has already been sent to MEA requesting them to take up the matter in the UK through the Indian Embassy in London,” stated the Indian ministry. 

Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju expressed the hope that the UK will allow Mirza to travel with her child. 

Rijiju, in a statement, said, “I have approved the request and Sports Ministry officials have initiated the process with the MEA. We are hopeful that the UK Government will see merit in this case and allow the child to travel with Sania.”