Owing to major withdrawals due to the novel coronavirus threat, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) on Wednesday said the upcoming New Delhi World Cup will not carry ranking points. However, the event organisers remained hopeful of going ahead with the tournament despite several countries deciding to opt-out. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: State Govt Releases 2257 Convicts on Parole For 8 Weeks to Decongest jails
The ISSF said there will no ranking points in the tournament scheduled to be held from March 15 to 26 as the organisers are not in a position to guarantee the participation of all athletes owing to the extraordinary situation. Also Read - As Coronavirus Cases Cross 1.40 Lakh-mark, India Now Among 10 Worst-hit Countries, Surpasses Iran
“Due to local restrictions relating to the COVID-19 virus introduced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, the organisers of the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi cannot guarantee the participation of all the athletes who would like to enter those competitions,” the ISSF said in a statement. Also Read - Karan Johar's Two Helpers Test Positive For Coronavirus, Filmmaker And Family Test Negative
“Therefore no ranking points can be earned at this World Cup. Still, it will be possible to achieve the MQS that can influence on athletes’ chances to get the desired Olympic quota places.”
Countries such as Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan have already pulled out of the tournament due to the virus. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Indian government, South Korea, Italy and Iran are also unlikely to participate in the event.
Last Friday, India also pulled out of the ongoing World Cup in Cyprus, citing the coronavirus threat there. The virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far killed more than 3000 and infected over 94,000 people across the world.
Considering the situation, the ISSF on Sunday said athletes from member nations are free to take a call on their participation in the Tokyo Olympic Test Event in the Japanese capital.
In India, over six lakh people have been screened for coronavirus at 21 airports, union health minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday, asserting that the government is pro-actively engaged in handling the major health concern with Prime Minister Narendra Modi monitoring the situation daily.
(With PTI Inputs)