Despite a relentless pressure towards cancellation of the Shooting World Cup, National Rifles Association of India secretary Rajiv Bhatia has clarified that a decision regarding the fate of the even will be taken once the nation-wide lockdown ends on April 14. Also Read - Indian Film Association Writes to CM Uddhav Thackery Calling Shooting Guidelines 'Impractical', Requests Reconsideration
The tournament, scheduled to be held from March 15 to 25 in the Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, was postponed earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the decision coming after the government imposed several restrictions on the entry of travellers from affected countries such as China, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran, in a bid to contain the outbreak. Also Read - Manu Bhaker 'Very Hopeful' of Tokyo Olympics Taking Place Next Year, Says Confident of Maintaining my Game And Hitting Peak Form There
“Right now we are not taking any decisions on the matter,” Bhatia told IANS on Thursday. “We are waiting for things to settle down a bit and will make a decision after seeing what the situation is after the lockdown. Anyhow, the health and safety of our athletes always comes first. We will be meeting for the ISSF calendar after things settle down a bit but yes, the health of our athletes always comes first.” Also Read - NRAI Expected to Announce India's Shooting Contingent for Tokyo Olympics
Barely four days before the start of the event, it was postponed and the call was taken to divide the tournament in two parts – Rifle and Pistol competitions from May 5-12, while Shotgun competitions from June 2-9. However, with the Munich edition of the World Cup called off, there is pressure towards the World Cup in New Delhi considering the uncertainty arising out of the unprecedented health crisis, revealed a NRAI source.
“There is pressure, especially after the cancellation in Munich, which was to be held after Delhi. Given that lockdowns are being enforced not just in India, how will the shooters prepare for an event like a World Cup now,” a source told PTI. “Going by the views of many associated with the sport in India, the writing is on the wall and the NRAI would do well to announce it now rather than doing it much later.”
The word is that people against the idea of the World Cup see no point in the tournament being organised risking the health of people when bigger tournaments such as the Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics have even been cancelled or postponed.
“Even the biggest of them all – the Olympics has also been postponed to next year. So the call for cancellation is appropriate. They need fresh visas, weapon permits, tickets and nothing is working anywhere at the moment. Moreover, there is no access to the range and so no training,” the source added.