STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A youth baseball team from Uganda that would have been the first squad from Africa to play at the Little League World Series has been denied visas to enter the United States.
The U.S. Department of State declined to give a reason for the decision, other than to say that the team's documentation "contained discrepancies," officials at Little League headquarters in South Williamsport, Pa., said Friday in a statement.
Little League officials learned of the issue within the last few days and confirmed it with the State Department on Friday, Little League vice president Patrick Wilson said in a phone interview. Wilson said the decision was considered final.
The Rev. John Foundation Little League team from Kampala won the Middle East and Africa region tournament, played in Poland, with a 6-4 win July 16 over the Arabian American Little League team from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It was the first time in the 65-year history of the World Series that a team from Africa had advanced that far.
Little League now must now decide how to proceed with the World Series, which begins Aug. 18 in South Williamsport and ends Aug. 28.
Wilson said the organization hopes to make a decision within a week.