By Wyatt Earp | July 16, 2010
So get this: An Iroquois lacrosse team is missing the world championships because the United States and Great Britain are having a pissing match over the team’s visas. Over visas.
Never mind that Native Americans – most likely the Iroquois – invented the game; we can’t have folks traveling abroad without the proper paperwork! .
A Native American team forfeited their opening match of the men’s lacrosse world championship on Thursday after being denied entry to Britain on tribal passports. The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) said in a statement that the 23 Iroquois players had been told they needed U.S. or Canadian documents to attend the two-week tournament in Manchester. The Iroquois, whose tribal ancestors are credited with inventing the game, say accepting such passports would be a blow against their national identity.
“We are sorry that the Iroquois are still having problems getting their visas,” said FIL spokesman Ron Balls. “Given the delays, we had to make a decision on the opening date.”
FIL said the U.S. government had given the team a one-off waiver to travel to Britain. It added the Iroquois had not withdrawn from the competition and could still compete if granted access. The Iroquois had been due to play their opener against hosts England, who will now play Germany instead in an exhibition match. (Thanks to Hottie for the tip.)
Sure, the team can still compete, but they already forfeited their opener. What are the chances that they’ll win the tournament now? Slim and none.