Pakistan and China will not send their squads for the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi next month. The national shooting federations of both the countries have informed the National Rifle Association of India about their respective decisions to opt out of the competition.
China decided to withdraw from the shooting event after the Indian Government had denied visas to their wrestlers for the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi. The Chinese authorities had communicated their decision the Indian shooting federation shortly after it was confirmed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had denied permission to grant visas to the 40-member Chinese wrestling contingent in wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
India had last month stalled the e-visa process and cancelled all visas issued to the Chinese nationals ahead of the Coronavirus outbreak. The World Health Organisation has declared Coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency.
Pakistan also opted out of the ISSF World Cup, to be held at the Dr Karni Singh Ranges in New Delhi from March 15. The Pakistan shooting body had taken the step even as their wrestlers have been granted visas for the Asian Championships.
The withdrawals, however, will not have any serious repercussions for the National Rifle Association of India or the Indian Olympic movement unlike the threat posed by India’s denial to issue visas to the Pakistani shooters for the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi last year.
“It is completely their call and not prompted by the Indian Government. I think it is a wise call. They informed us because hotel bookings and other arrangements had been made for them,” NRAI president Raninder Singh was quoted as saying by national daily Times of India.
The decision was made moments after the two bodies refused to grant visas to Chinese wrestlers wanting to participating in the Asian Wrestling Championships beginning Tuesday.
Pakistan and China had earlier confirmed their participation in the New Delhi World Cup and the NRAI had made all the arrangement for hosting the two nations.
When the Pakistan shooters were denied visas last year, the NRAI and India had faced a threat of being barred from hosting Olympic movement international competitions. The situation was then salvaged after the Government of India had given an assurance and writing that all the participants will be granted visas for international sports events in India.