C'wealth Games body to meet India officials

NEW DELHI • The Commonwealth Games Federation yesterday pledged to hold talks with India after its Olympic body threatened a boycott of the 2022 event in Birmingham over the likely exclusion of shooting, in which the country topped the table at Gold Coast 2018.

India's threat to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham over shooting's absence in the programme had intensified after the country's Olympic association sought approval from the sports ministry for such a move.

Media reports have cited a lack of suitable facilities as the reason behind Birmingham's proposal to axe shooting, which has featured at every Games since 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh in 1970.

After the move was announced last year, the country's shooting federation suggested boycotting the Games which would not feature what has been a high-yielding discipline for India.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has written a letter to sports minister Kiren Rijiju seeking a meeting to explain the "proposed boycott".

"We want to express our protest by not taking part in 2022 CWG Games...," he wrote in his letter to the minister seen by Reuters.

"We have been noticing over a period of time that wherever India seems to be getting a grip on the game and performing well... either the goal posts are shifted or rules are changed.

In response, the CGF said in a statement to AFP that "we absolutely want India to participate wholeheartedly in Birmingham 2022".

"We... look forward to meeting our colleagues in India over the coming months to discuss their concerns and future ambitions," it said.

The IOA has decided to boycott the General Assembly of the CGF in Rwanda, also withdrawing the candidatures of two of its officials from the September elections.

India won seven gold among 16 shooting medals last year.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2019, with the headline 'C'wealth Games body to meet India officials'. Print Edition | Subscribe