Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nikki Teasley's Missed Opportunity

Nikki Teasley had the chance to come back and play in Israel for Elizur Ramla, but that didn't happen. Why? Visa issues, the words that no European team likes to hear. Eventually, Elizur Ramla gave up and acquired Tamara Moore.

So what are "visa issues"? Basically, a visa is a document that allows one to visit another country. There are all kinds of visas - everything from a "single-entry tourist visa" which allows one to visit a country for a limited period of time (maybe a week) and which expires when you leave the country, to a "multiple entry business visa", which would be used for someone seeking long term employment in the host country which allows the person to enter and leave the country as needed.

We are therefore dealing with a government bureaucracy, in this case, the government being Israel. With the Gaza War, I'm sure that Israel's government had been overwhelmed with short-term journalism visa applications. There are also issues regarding whether the person arriving has either a residence or insurance set up. Maybe the person applying for the visa has a passport that is due to expire soon and the government is edgy about allowing a visa. Or maybe, the person is simply applying on short notice.

In any event, there can be all sorts of reasons why the visa process slows down. Women's basketball is so far down the list of the concerns of the government of Israel that they probably see no need to expedite the visa process. There are cases of people being lost in visa limbo. Elizur Ramla simply didn't want to wait for Teasley's application to work its way through the red tape.

Sorry Nikki. Better luck next time.

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