Despite the support, hard work, and good intentions of so many people, I have to announce the very disappointing news that the Jacob Curby Cup, scheduled for June 27th, has been cancelled. This decision was made because of the inability to obtain visas for the Iranian delegation within the time frame of our event. No blame, no acrimony, just sadness and disappointment.
The Jacob Curby Foundation, in cooperation with University of Chicago, Chicago State University, USA Wrestling and Beat the Streets – Chicago had organized an international USA-Iran (the defending world champions) wrestling event for Chicago on June 27th known as the Jacob Curby Cup. This competition is held in memory of my son Jacob Curby, who was a member of the USA National Team, who passed away suddenly in 2010, at the age of 25. Unfortunately, even though we had the Iranian team apply early for their visa ( in early May ), and made sure all of their paperwork were submitted to the Dubai Consulate, we were informed at the 11th hour that they cannot issue their visas due to a system breakdown.
Despite the fact that the Iranians had done all that was required of them, and within the proper time frame, to obtain visas to our event, the US State Department was unable to provide them. I include my correspondence with the State Department that describes what happened.
On June 14th:
Our computer databases have been experiencing problems over the last week, and we are currently unable to provide specific updates on the status of the team visas. We will let you know as soon as we have an update. We are keenly aware of the importance of your travel and participation in this tournament, as are our offices in Washington.
On June 18th:
Thank you for your e-mail. As you may have noted in the international press, this is a global issue, and the Department of State is working around the clock to fix it. However, State does not expect the system will be online before next week. We regret the inconvenience to the Iranian Wrestling Team, USA Wrestling, and the Curby Cup hosts. We are working with the Department and the Consular Section to move the process along as far as possible so that when the systems come back online, we can issue them quickly. However, without the computer systems, State cannot issue the visas.
Again on June 18th:
UPDATE: We continue to experience technical problems with our visa systems. This issue is not specific to any particular country or visa category. We apologize for the inconvenience and we are working around the clock to correct the problem. Currently, we are unable to print most immigrant and nonimmigrant visas approved after June 8, 2015. In addition, U.S. embassies and consulates are unable to process new applications submitted on or after June 9, 2015. If you have a visa interview appointment scheduled for June 14-20, 2015, and you submitted your DS-160 online application **after June 9, 2015,** you should reschedule your appointment. If you submitted your DS-160 online application prior to June 9, 2015, you should plan to attend your scheduled visa interview appointment. Our embassies and consulates will be posting location-specific information on their websites, so please check the website of the location where you applied for your visa for more information.
The technical issues also affected the Department of State’s ability to adjudicate applications for U.S. passports accepted overseas between May 26 and June 14, 2015. If you applied for a U.S. passport overseas during this time frame and have travel plans within the next 10 business days, please consider requesting an emergency passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you originally applied. Information about how to apply for an emergency passport is available on the embassy/consulate website.
Due to these totally unforeseen and uncontrollable events, I request your understanding.
Dr. David Curby
United World Wrestling (UWW) Scientific Commission
Director: International Network of Wrestling Researchers (INWR)
Editor: International Journal of Wrestling Science
Executive Director: Beat the Streets – Chicago