(ATR) India’s refusal to allow a Pakistani delegation into the country for an international competition draws the ire of the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC Executive Board on Friday suspended all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India.
In addition, the IOC is recommending that IFs neither award nor hold sports events in India until the New Delhi government gives "clear written guarantees" that all participants in such events will be given entry into the country in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter.
The punishment comes after the Indian government refused to grant entry visas to two Pakistani athletes and one official for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup event which begins this week in New Delhi.
India blames Pakistan for a recent terrorist attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary personnel, the latest flashpoint in the long-running political animosity between the two countries.
The two Pakistani athletes were due to compete in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol competition, in which two quota places for Tokyo 2020 were up for grabs. The IOC Executive Board has now revoked Olympic qualification status for that event, though it has left the other 14 quota places in play "in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition".
The IOC says the ISSF now must come up with a proposal on how the two available Olympic quota places for the rapid fire pistol competition will be reassigned.
This is the second time in the past four months that India has ran afoul of the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter.
The IOC warned India in December after the country refused a visa to Kosovo athlete Donjeta Sadiku, who was to participate at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships held in New Delhi in November. The Indian government doesn't recognize the newest European country.
It is unclear if the latest IOC punishments will affect India’s plans for bidding for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.
If the usual timetable is followed, the formal bid process for 2032 won’t start until 2022, giving India plenty of time to get back into the IOC’s good graces.
The Indian Olympic Association has said it will also bid for the 2026 Youth Olympics and the 2030 Asian Games.
Homepage photo: Wikimedia Commons
Written by Gerard Farek
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