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February 23, 2019

Shooting event in India loses Olympic qualifier status


February 23, 2019

KARACHI: India received a huge blow as International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted Pakistan’s demands regarding the shooting world cup being held in New Delhi.

After India’s denial of visas to two Pakistani shooters and one coach for ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in New Delhi, Pakistan put forwarded two demands to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

Executive Vice President National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP) Javaid Lodhi emailed to President ISSF Vladimir Lisin and Secretary General ISSF Alexander Ratner on Wednesday morning that India discriminated against Pakistani shooters which was a violation of IOC policy.

The NRAP demanded that the Olympic Qualifying status of Rapid Fire Pistol event in ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in India (in which two Pakistani shooters were to participate) should be cancelled.

NRAP also demanded that “no ISSF event should be held in India till such time the Indian government gives written undertaking of non-discrimination for athletes from Pakistan with a uniform visa policy for all countries, including athletes and officials from Pakistan”.

Since the world cup was Olympic Qualifying Quota Event for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the IOC’s Executive Board on Friday revoked the Olympic qualification status of men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event in the world cup in New Delhi.

IOC in its official press release stated: “. . . no solution [by the India government] has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete.

“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.

“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 IFs (international federations) neither award to nor hold sports events in India until the above-mentioned guarantees are obtained,” stated IOC.

ISSF also issued a press release on Friday stating that “in order to avoid similar situations in future the ISSF will request from organisers of the shooting events in India the written guarantees of the State Government to ensure the non allowance of any kind of discrimination for the participants”.

Prior to this announcement by IOC, the ISSF through its official press release offered Pakistan its help to get Indian visas for the said shooting world cup and on Thursday emailed to NRAP that the federation “will solve the transportation problem by sending a private jet that will bring them [Pakistani shooters] to New-Delhi”.

NRAP thanked the ISSF for the extraordinary arrangements, but at the same time the NRAP showed its concerns over the security of its team in India. “We are sure that in view of the current situation, the Organizing Committee will make foolproof arrangement for the security of our team members and will also ensure that they do not face any harassment either at the airport for bringing firearms and ammunition for participation in the ISSF World Cup or during their stay in India,” replied the NRAP to ISSF.

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