Indian Olympic Association’s proposal to withdraw from the 2022 Commonwealth Games was not put up for approval of Executive Council as it would have amounted to jumping the gun before a crucial meeting between CGF and the ISSF top brass, President Narinder Batra said on Saturday.
Batra had in July proposed the boycott of the Birmingham Games in protest against dropping of shooting from the roster.
After a meeting with the visiting officials of the Commonwealth Games Federation earlier this month Batra had said the Executive Council, which met on Saturday, and the General Body of the IOA will take a decision on the matter.
Batra said that the IOA will wait for meeting between the CGF top brass and the officials of the international shooting body (ISSF) early next month in Munich before taking any decision.
“The CGF officials are meeting the ISSF officials in Munich on December 7. We have said that whatever parallel shooting event they are conducting, the medals should be counted to India’s final medal tally of the 2022 CWG. The CGF will get back to us and we will wait for that,” Batra said after the IOA Executive Council meeting in New Delhi.
“As of now we are in the same situation. We have not put up the withdrawal issue for approval before the Executive Council. We do not want to go in any positive or negative mode. We will take a decision according to the response of the CGF (after their meeting with ISSF),” he added.
Batra also said the boycott proposal may not be put up before the IOA Annual General Meeting next month as a response from the CGF is likely to take time.
“This issue is also unlikely to come up during the AGM as CGF response will come after one or one-and-a-half month. So, getting approval (of India’s withdrawal from 2022 CWG) will be like jumping the gun before any response from the CGF and it is not right,” the IOA chief said.
During the press conference with CGF chief Louise Martin and CEO David Grevemberg earlier this month, Batra had proposed that the medals India won from the proposed Commonwealth Shooting Championships be counted to the country’s final tally of the Birmingham Games. The CGF had not given any commitment on this.
After receiving a letter from his Indian counterpart, British Sports Minister Nigel Adams’ had proposed the hosting of a Commonwealth Shooting Championships in or around the time of the 2022 CWG. The CGF had though said that such a Championships cannot be held in Britain three months prior to or after the CWG.
The IOA chief also made it clear that it would be a waste of time for the country’s shooters to take part in the proposed Commonwealth Championship if the medals are not counted in India’s tally in the 2022 Games.
“Whichever parallel event happens, the medals will have to counted. We are not interested in such an event if the medals are not added to India’s 2022 CWG tally.
“Of course, it is for the NRAI to decide whether to take part in such a championships or not. But I feel if there is no medal counted in India’s 2022 CWG tally, it will be just waste of time”.
Asked about IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta’s announcement that IOA would be interested in hosting the 2026 CWG, Batra said, “They (CGF) wanted us to host 2026 or 2030 CWG. Mehta had reacted on what they (CGF) had said.
“We said let us see what comes out of this shooting issue and others like lack of India’s representation in the CGF, then let us see.”
On the issue of Draft National Sports Code which the IOA had out rightly rejected, he said, “The sports ministry has sought names from the IOA’s side to be included in the expert committee (to look into the Code afresh) and we have given the names. I am hoping that the committee will be formed this coming week or the next one.”
The IOA was interested in hosting the IOC Session in 2023 but Batra said no business house in the country has so far come up to sponsor the prestigious event which will need funds to the tune of USD 8-9 million.
“We have met all the other parameters except for one. The only remaining thing pending now is the contract with the business house. We have not got any offer from any business house.
“IOA does not have any funding source, so we cannot bear the expense. We were expecting that letter of offer will come but still not come yet. If it does not come, we have decided that we have to say sorry (to the IOC).”
Batra also felt that with the high number of Indian athletes claiming 2020 Olympic quota, especially in shooting, the country may send around 125 participants for the Tokyo Games.