New Delhi: The ISSF Shooting World Cup in the capital, that promised 16 Olympic berths across various rifle and pistol events, stands a chance to lose all quota places thanks to non-issuance of visas to athletes from Pakistan.
Pakistan had applied for visas for two shooters — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — in the 25m rapid-fire pistol event and an official but were denied by the Indian government.
The decision was announced by ISSF president Vladimir Lisin at the event's opening ceremony on Thursday.
"We (the ISSF) follow the Olympic charter which says no athlete can be discriminated against. Due to this situation, the Olympic quota spots may be redistributed to another world cup." Lisin said.
The visas were denied as a fallout of the terrorist attack in Pulwama last week which killed over 40 CRPF soldiers.
NRAI president Raninder Singh called the development "unprecedented and unfortunate", but insisted the shooting body understands the sentiments of the grieving families.
"It is an unfortunate and unprecedented scenario, but our hearts go out to the families of the Pulwama victims. There was no mal intent from NRAI or government to deny anyone anything. But unfortunately, this incident (Pulwama terror attack) happened," Singh said.
However, Singh said that there have been no confirmation on whether the World Cup will lose all 16 Olympic qualification berths. The ISSF and IOA, Singh said, were in discussion to come to a definite conclusion.
"We still do not know what is going to be the concrete position of the Olympic Committee through the ISSF and the Government of India on this matter. The president of the ISSF is in discussion with the Olympic Committee and the department of sports and the department of international relations.
"However, the ISSF President used the word 'may', which means there is still some room. We will get a clearer picture in some hours," he said.
The competitions start on Saturday, with Friday reserved for practice.
Earlier today, reports emerged that BCCI may write to ICC to ban Pakistan from the upcoming cricket World Cup to be held in England in May-June.
After demands from both fans as well as a number of cricketers of boycotting the World Cup match against Pakistan that takes place on 16 June at Manchester, the office of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri is understood to have kept ready a draft addressed to ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, according to a report on The Times of India.
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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 21:34:56 IST