London, Aug 13:
Unfazed by India’s boycott threat, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief Louise Martin said that shooting will not be a part of the 2022 Birmingham edition.
For the first time since 1974, shooting has been excluded from the Games roster due to logistical issues but the CGF president maintained that shooting has never been a compulsory sport in the Games.
“A sport has to earn the right to be in the Games,” Martin told Britain’s ‘Daily Telegraph’.
“Shooting has never been a compulsory sport. We have to work through it but shooting will not be in the Games. We have no space anymore.”
Shooting has always been one of India’s strong points in the Commonwealth Games with the discipline yielding seven gold medals including 16 podium finishes at the last edition in Gold Coast.
Protesting the move, India has threatened to boycott the 2022 Games. The country’s Olympic body (IOA) president Narinder Batra has sought approval from Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in this regard.
According to the report, Birmingham had offered to hold two shooting events but the offer was rejected by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), which wanted a full programme.
CGF CEO David Grevemberg said the exclusion of shooting was not against the constitution of the Games’ governing body.
“Everything we have done has been in accordance with our constitution, shooting has always been an optional sport, and the evolution of the sports programme is natural,” he was quoted as saying by insidethegames.biz website.
“I think the IOA has a long history of supporting shooting, and from that perspective there are things which have to be further clarified,” he said.
He appealed India to take part in the 2022 Birmingham Games.
“India is a critical member of the Commonwealth, we want Indian athletes to participate, and there is a strong Indian community in Birmingham which wants to celebrate these athletes.”
Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid claimed the organisers understand India’s concerns and are continuing to speak with them to try and avert a boycott. (PTI)