SPORTS
BIG SETBACK FOR COUNTRY
India to face international isolation for its action against Pakistan
- TEAM PT
India to face international isolation for its action against Pakistan



In a humiliating setback to India, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended talks on all Indian applications for hosting future Olympic-related events. The IOC has also urged international sports federations not to stage competitions in the country after two Pakistanis were denied visas to compete in New Delhi.
 
The denial of entry visas for two shooters due to take part in a World Cup event this weekend followed last week's attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Kashmir, which killed at least 40 paramilitary police.

India has accused its neighbour of not doing enough to control the militant groups responsible for the Kashmir attacks. Pakistan has denied any involvement.
 
The IOC demanded "clear written guarantees... from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants" after Pakistan said two shooters and a coach were denied visas to compete at a World Cup shooting event in New Delhi.

"In addition to not being able to host events in India, there may be problems for our athletes to take part in international events," Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"We will approach the government again so that the situation does not reach that far," he added.

"The country's image has been lowered. If the Indian government does not give guarantees within 15 to 20 days, another letter may come from IOC."
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"It's a big setback for sports in the country," Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta said.
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India last year said it wanted to bid for the 2026 Youth Olympics, the 2030 Asian Games and the 2032 Olympics as it seeks a higher profile to match its growing economic clout.

Two qualifying places for the 2020 Olympics, in the 25m pistol category, were cancelled at the Delhi competition.
 
"It's a big setback for sports in the country," Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta told Reuters.

"We've been in constant touch with the government, trying to explain to them and convince them to grant visas to the Pakistani shooters. This is really unfortunate."

Last year, a boxer from Kosovo, which India does not recognise as an independent state, was denied visa for the women's world championships in New Delhi.

Boxing's governing body AIBA criticised the decision and warned it might reopen the bidding process for the 2021 men's championship due to take place in India.

"It's really unfortunate that it happened again," Mehta said.
 
"I spoke to IOC officials last night and the impression I got is that there could be more trouble for us. We at IOA will discuss the crisis with the government and try to find a way out."
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It is unfortunate that the IOC suspension of India should have happened at a time when the sports ministry is headed by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, himself an Olympic silver medallist in shooting
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The Pakistani shooters were scheduled to take part in the 25m pistol event and the IOC said two spots at next year's Tokyo Olympics that had been up for grabs in that competition had been revoked.

The International Shooting Sport Federation said on Wednesday it faced "an urgent situation as Pakistani athletes cannot get entry visas to participate in the competition" because of the Kashmir attack.

The IOC said Olympic berths would still be on the line in other events.

"The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate," it said.

"This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition."
 
It is unfortunate that the IOC suspension of India should have happened at a time when the sports ministry is headed by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, himself an Olympic silver medallist in shooting at the 2004 Athens Games (for men’s double-trap) and someone who has first-hand experience of all the norms for all Olympic-related events.

While the visas are issued by India’s ministry of external affairs, the failure to give visas on time to the Pakistani team for an Olympic-related event reflects poorly on the lack of coordination between ministries of the Government of India, the National Olympic Committee and the National Rifle Association of India.
 

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