IOA pulls out of CGF General Assembly to protest dropping of shooting from 2022 CWG
The Indian Olympic Association on Friday pulled out of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly in September to protest the dropping of shooting from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games roster. In a letter addressed to Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Officer David Grevemberg, the IOA also withdrew the nomination of its Secretary General Rajeev Mehta for the election of a regional vice-president as well as that of Namdev Shiragaonkar for Sports Committee member.
“The leadership of CGA India has taken the decision (of) withdrawal of participation in the CGF General Assembly to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in September,” the IOA said in the letter. “The nomination of candidates of CGA India for election during the General Assembly is withdrawn, namely Mr. Rajeev Mehta for Regional Vice-President (Asia) and Mr. Namdev Shiragaonkar for member of Sports Committee.
“The only edition of CWG in Asia in the last two decades was hosted in India. However, we are compelled to reflect on our standing within the Commonwealth movement in recent times. There has been much ire and disapproval by our stakeholders on the exclusion of shooting in the sports programme of 2022 CWG,” it added.
The Commonwealth Games Federation last month left out shooting from the 2022 Birmingham Games in its Executive Board meeting while recommending the inclusion of three new sports.
Mehta had then said that the IOA will not be averse to taking an unprecedented step, including pulling out of the 2022 multi-sporting event.
In the latest letter sent on Thursday, the IOA still maintained the possibility of India’s pulling out of the 2022 Brimingham Games.
“The Executive Council and General Body of the IOA ... would also be discussing about participation in Birmingham 2022 Game,” the IOA said in the letter. The decision to leave out shooting has dealt a big blow to India which had won as many as 16 medals out of 66 in the 2018 Gold Coast CWG. The sport has featured in every Commonwealth Games since 1966 with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.
The CGF, however, had taken the position that it was the host nation which was to decide the fate of shooting, which has always been an optional sport in the CWG.
The IOA informed the CGF that it has abstained from taking a stand on the proposal of the CGF Executive Board to include beach volleyball (men and women), women’s T20 cricket and para-table tennis (men and women) in the 2022 CWG roster.
It also informed the CGF about its decision to abstain from the 2026 CWG host city award time line. The members were to inform the CGF about a decision on the proposal to include these three sports by July 25.
In a conciliatory note, the IOA said it hoped to have an “exclusive” meeting with the CGF in the coming months in India for “strengthening out ties and working together for the advancement of Commonwealth sports movement in the sub-continent”.