Pakistan requests ISSF to drop two Olympic quotas from New Delhi World Cup

Pakistan was denied visas for two shooters in the rapid fire category of the tournament in New Delhi which also serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic games.

The Final Hall at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in New Delhi where the season-opening ISSF World Cup will be held.   -  Representative Image

Pakistan shooting federation Wednesday wrote to the ISSF, asking it to drop the two 25m rapid fire pistol quotas for 2020 Olympics, in the season-opening World Cup in New Delhi. Pakistan was denied visas in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel.

“The ISSF has received a letter from the Pakistan federation, requesting it not to offer quota places in the events their shooters were scheduled to participate. This is what the ISSF secretary general said,” a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) official said.

Pakistan had applied for visas for two shooters -- G M Bashir and Khalil Ahmed -- in the rapid fire category as the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi also serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic games.

Both International Shooting Sport Federation president Vladimir Lisin and secretary general Alexander Ratner are in New Delhi for the tournament. While Lisin could take up the matter with sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Ratner said the decision to allot quota places depend on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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'Urgent situation'

“ISSF World Cup in New Delhi faces an urgent situation as Pakistani athletes cannot get entry visas to participate in the competition, due to the terrorist attacks happened last days in India,” the global sports body said in a statement. “The ISSF and the Organizing Committee of the competition are taking all efforts to solve the situation to avoid the discrimination of the Pakistani team.

"Besides that, the ISSF and the Organizing Committee are discussing the possible consequences for India as a host country for future international competitions, in all sports,” it added.

Meanwhile, maintaining that the door is still open for shooters from across the border despite the heightened tension between the two countries, NRAI Secretary General D V Seetharama Rao said the federation will go by the “wishes and orders” of the government.

“I can only tell you that they were supposed to come today, it is up to the government to issue the visa. The government has not asked us to not allow them. If the government does not give them the visa, we abide by that. We cannot do anything,” said Rao. “Much before this unfortunate event we had sent out invitations and visas were granted,” he said.

Asked about possible repercussions from the IOC if the Pakistani shooters are not allowed to take part in the World Cup, Rao said the NRAI will discuss the issue with the ISSF.

“We have to take it as it comes. We will have to sit with the ISSF and discuss things out. Every action has counter action.”

Pakistan’s National Rifle Shooting Federation (NSRF) President Razi Ahmed confirmed Tuesday they would not participate in the World Cup in New Delhi because its marksmen had not been issued visas by the Indian High Commission.

RELATED | Pakistan shooters not taking part in New Delhi World Cup

A total of 503 shooters from 58 countries will be competing for top honours with eight of the 10 events offering 16 quota places for the Tokyo Games.