September 23, 2019 5:32:02 pm
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra is set to meet Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief Louise Martin here on November 14 to discuss the “concerns” raised by India on the axing of shooting from the 2022 Birmingham CWG.
Martin had, in a letter written on September 16, suggested the meeting between the top brass of the IOA and CGF to which Batra replied that the most suitable time would be November 14.
“…as suggested by you in your e-mail dated 21.09.2019, we agree to start from 14th November, 2019 in Delhi,” the IOA chief wrote.
The CGF chief is yet to reply to Batra’s latest e-mail but the meeting is most likey to take place on November 14 as Martin had earlier indicated a tentative window (of the weeks of November 11 and 18) for it.
Martin will be accompanied by CGF chief executive David Grevemberg, while IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta will also be present during the deliberations.
The CGF chief is also expected to meet Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Earlier, Martin in her letter to Batra, written on July 29, had listed three purposes of her visit to India but she did not directly mention any discussion on India’s demand for a reversal of the CGF’s decision to drop shooting from the 2022 Birmingham CWG owing to logistical issues.
After the unprecedented move of the IOA in July to propose boycott of the Games, the CGF leadership has indicated that it’s too late to change the decision, more so after the event roster was ratified by the General Assembly in Rwanda on September 3, which the IOA had boycotted in protest.
“The intended purpose of our visit would be to cover the following three areas:… further clarification necessary on the composition and process for determining the CWG sports programme, recognising the concerns raised by India (including relations going forward with the ISSF and ICFRA).
Batra said Mehta will accompany Martin and Grevemberg to Mumbai and Bengaluru.
The IOA top officials had earlier talked about not having any Indian in the CGF decision-making bodies which they said made it difficult for them to work in making shooting a core sport in the CWG.
Shooting has featured in every Commonwealth Games since 1966 with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.
But since the sport in an optional one, it has remained the prerogative of the host nation whether to include it in the CWG.
The CGF constitution will need an amendment if the sport is to be included in the core programme.
The November 14 meeting may discuss the issue of India’s absence in the top decision-taking bodies of the CGF.
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