U.K. Denies Iroquois National Lacrosse Team Visas; World Championships Hopes Dashed
Friday night, time finally ran out on the Iroquois National lacrosse team. After the State Department allowed them to use their own passports this one time, things looked hopeful that they would be able to travel to England for the World Championships. However, the British Consulate never granted the team visas. Originally, it was believed that the U.K. would allow the Iroquois to travel once the U.S. agreed to let them back into the country. As of Friday night, there were no visas, and the Iroquois called it quits. There is still no official word as to why the British Consulate decided not to grant visas for the Iroquois.
“The door has always been open for the Iroquois nation to attend the World Lacrosse Championships and if they finally get their visas to travel they will be welcomed with open arms,” said David Marsden, head of the ELA World Championship Organizing committee, “but unfortunately it is now too late for them to be able to take part on a competitive basis in the event.”
This story has lead to several questions from around the lacrosse world, namely, who is to blame? Is it the Iroquois’ fault? If they had tried to resolve these issues sooner, would the problem have been solved before the tournament started? Is it the U.S. State Department’s fault? If they had agreed to let the Iroquois travel on their own passports sooner, would the British Consulate have been more willing to grant them visas? But perhaps most crucially, why didn’t the U.K. give the Iroquois visas after the U.S. allowed them to travel? It appears that many of these questions will remain unanswered.
What about future World Championships? In 2014, the tournament is in Denver so travel shouldn’t be an issue for the Iroquois. What about 2018? Will the same passport issues arise again? The U.S. already said the use of the Iroquois passports was a one-time deal. Will the Iroquois make new passports that meet today’s travel security standards? Only time will tell.