India’s threat of withdrawing from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games over exclusion of shooting still stands, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra said after the meeting between a Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) delegation from Britain and the IOA’s top brass.
CGF president Louise Martin, its CEO David Grevemberg, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and Batra failed to break the deadlock over the Birmingham Organising Committee’s (OC) decision to drop shooting – an optional sport in the CWG – from the 2022 Games edition. The IOA asked the visiting CGF representatives to hold a Commonwealth shooting championships for participating nations closer to the Games and count the medals won at the tournament towards the official medal tally of the Birmingham Games.
Martin said that shooting will not be part of the Birmingham CWG as the decision had been taken by the host city, but the effort would be to look beyond 2022 Games and to ensure smooth conduct of shooting events at the future CWG editions in 2026 and 2030. Batra said there was discussion towards bringing back shooting among core sports before 2026 and 2030 CWG, which will make it a compulsory sport in the Games roster. Mehta revealed that India has shown interest in bidding to host the 2026 CWG edition in New Delhi.
“The term boycott I had used previously was not appropriate. It should have been withdrawal, so I would use the term ‘option of withdrawing from the Games’. The meeting was both successful and fruitful but the proposal of withdrawal from 2022 CWG still stands,” Batra said, with Martin and Grevemberg in attendance. “We will take into consideration the discussions we had with the CGF officials, and then go back to our executive committee and the general body to take a final decision,” Batra said. While the EC is planned for November 23, the general body meeting could happen in late December.