ISSF World Cup: IOC comes down hard on India after no visas for Pakistani shootershttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/issf-world-cup-2019-ioc-shooting-5595755/

ISSF World Cup: IOC comes down hard on India after no visas for Pakistani shooters

The IOC also decided to withdraw the Olympic qualification status for the men's 25m rapid fire event from the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi which is set to begin from Saturday.

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Pakistan have requested ISSF to withdraw Olympic quota places in the 25m rapid fire pistol event, in which Commonwealth Games gold medalist Anish Bhanwala is India’s biggest hope. The World Cup begins in Delhi on Saturday.

With Pakistani shooters not issued visa for the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, the International Olympic Committee on Friday decided to “suspend all discussions” with India regarding the hosting of global sporting events in the future. The IOC also decided to withdraw the Olympic qualification status for the men’s 25m rapid fire event from the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi which is set to begin from Saturday.

“The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition,” the IOC said in a statement after its executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland Thursday.

Earlier, on Thursday, during the Opening Ceremony, International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) President Vladimir Lisin announced that all the allotted 16 Olympic quotas for the 2020 Games would be scrapped. However, the apex body limited the withholding of quotas to only two while retaining 14.

“Since becoming aware of the issue and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF and the Indian National Olympic Committee (NOC), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete.” the statement added.

Two Pakistani shooters, G M Bashir and Khalil Ahmed, were not issued visas in the wake of last week’s Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The Olympic body said that India will not be allowed to organise any Olympics-related events in the future, till they provide written assurance from the government that they will follow the Olympic charter.

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“This situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, as well as the IOC’s and the Olympic movement’s position, reiterated on many occasions over the past few years, that equal treatment must be guaranteed for all participating athletes and sporting delegations at international sports events, without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country,” the statement said.

“As a result, the IOC executive board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India, until clear written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic charter — and to recommend that the international federations (IFs) neither award nor hold sports events in India until the above-mentioned guarantees are obtained,” it further added.

The Pakistan shooting federation requested the ISSF on Wednesday not to offer quota places in the events their shooters were scheduled to participate in.

(With inputs from PTI)