IOA says 2022 CWG boycott proposal still stands, but gives hints of rethink
The Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra on Thursday said that its proposal to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games in protest against shooting's exclusion still stands, but gave hints that there can be a rethink on the decision. Following a meeting with the visiting Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin and CEO David Grevemberg, Batra said a decision on the boycott proposal made in July will be taken by the IOA Executive Committee and the General Assembly which is expected to meet next month.
"The term boycott I had used was not appropriate. It should have been withdrawn. It was a successful and fruitful meeting (with the CGF delegation) but the proposal of withdrawal from 2022 CWG still stands," Batra said in a press conference, addressed along with Martin, Gevemberg and IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta. "We made the proposal nearly six months back. Now, we will take into consideration the discussions we had today with the CGF officials. We will go back to our Executive Committee and then to the General Assembly and take a decision," the IOA chief said.
Giving hints that the IOA may have a rethink on the boycott proposal, Batra said, "In the proposal to have a Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 2022 around the Birmingham Games, we have proposed to include the medal count India gets in shooting (in Commonwealth Championships) in the medal tally of the 2022 CWG. "They (the CGF officials) have not given any commitment to this proposal," he added.
Gevember, on his part, said the CGF was "hopeful" of a rethink by the IOA but said it was prerogative of India whether to boycott the 2022 Games or not. Batra also 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. This will need an amendment in the constitution of the CGF.
"Today we also discussed shooting coming back in 2026 and 2030 CWG and how it can be included in these Games (by making it a core sport)," he said. Asked about any discussion to include shooting in the core program of the CWG through an amendment of the CGF constitution, Gavemberg said, "It will be a collective decision of 71 Commonwealth countries. They will a decision on that.
"There will be a review of the core sports program in two years' time from now and we can see which sports are to include. Shooting can be one of them." For the first time since 1974, shooting has been excluded from the Commonwealth Games roster due to logistical issues.
However, CGF has maintained that shooting has never been a compulsory sport in the Games. Shooting has been India's top sport in the Commonwealth Games in terms of medals and its exclusion has not gone down well with the IOA.
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