Dubai: A young Indian footballer, who was scheduled to play in the Spanish League, got stuck in Dubai after losing his passport at the airport on Thursday.
Aryan Gupta, 19, said to be the fourth Indian ever to sign up as an official Spanish League player, had to fly back home after getting help from the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
The young striker, who plays for La Liga to side the club AD Alcorcon, sent out an appeal for help after he lost the passport at Dubai International Airport.
He was in transit in Dubai on his way to Madrid, Sumathi Vasudev, acting consul general of India in Dubai, told Gulf News on Sunday.
He took to Twitter to seek help from India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and also got in touch with the mission.
The consulate’s protocol officials assisted him and the mission issued an emergency certificate with which he had to return home on Friday.
“Though Dubai Police and airport staff had searched for his passport, it wasn’t found until after he had left. Later, the lost and found section received the passport and it was sent to him in India by Dubai authorities,” said Vasudev.
Gulf News could not immediately speak to Gupta, who should get a new passport as per procedure.
However, his latest instagram photo tagged at Estadio Municipal de Santo Domingo football stadium in Madrid read: “Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes them meaningful #GodFirst.”
On Saturday he tweeted his thanks to Sushma Swaraj.
“True to your name and reputation, you helped me when I was in dire need after losing my passport at Dubai Airport,” the tweet read.
“Me and my family will remain indebted for your kind and generous gesture.”
Consulate officials said the mission had helped Indians who had similar experiences earlier as well. Protocol officials are assigned to assist such travellers and emergency travel documents are issued to them after proper verification. Once the emergency certificate is issued, the passport becomes invalid. The passengers, who can only return to their home country with the emergency certificate, will then have to apply for a new passport. Officials urged passengers to keep their travel documents safe to avoid such situations.