Citing the novel coronavirus threat, India pulled out of the upcoming Shooting World Cup in Cyprus on Friday. The Shotgun World Cup is scheduled to be held from March 4 to 13. The event is recognised by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Lockdown, Telangana Govt Announces 75% Salary Cut For Employees
The Indian team withdrew from the tournament on the advice of the government, a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) source was quoted by PTI. “The coronavirus threat is the only reason we are pulling out and it has been done on the advice of central agencies,” he said. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: Confirmed Cases Climb to 1251, Total Deaths Now at 32 | Top Developments
However, Cyprus does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus yet but suspected cases are being quarantined as a precautionary measure. Also Read - Fact Check: No, Financial Year Has Not Been Extended by 3 Months
“Given the situation, it was the right decision as we can’t put our shooters, support staff and accompanying officials at risk of contracting the virus,” he said.
Two shooters, who were a part of the Indian team for the tournament in Nicosia, also said they “have heard about the withdrawal” but are awaiting official confirmation.
Earlier, the outbreak of the deadly disease has also affected the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Delhi, with seven countries already withdrawing. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Bahrain have opted out due to the coronavirus crisis in these countries.
“There were some countries which were coming but because of the Coronavirus outbreak, their national policies dictate that they can’t come,” NRAI President Raninder Singh had said.
The Indian government had also refused to grant visas to Chinese grapplers for the Asian Wrestling Championship held here due to the disease which originated from the Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei province.
In the tournament scheduled in Cyprus, the Indian shooting team included proven performers such as Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Shreyasi Singh, Lakshay Sheoran, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan.
The shooters were scheduled to leave in two batches on March 2 and 4.
The deadly virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed close to 3000 people and infected nearly 80,000 globally.
(With PTI Inputs)