The novel Coronavirus outbreak has prompted six countries, including the deadly disease’s epicentre China, to withdraw from next month’s Shooting World Cup here, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) revealed on Wednesday.
“China has taken a wise decision on its own as a nation. It doesn’t want to infect others and hence won’t travel. Taiwan, which has locked down its entire island, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan have also backed out because of national policies,” he added, referring to the domestic travel restrictions imposed by the governments of these countries.
Earlier this month, the Indian government refused to grant visas to Chinese grapplers for the Asian Wrestling Championships held here due to the disease. The NRAI chief also informed that Pakistan will also not be competing at the event as the country’s shooters are busy familiarising themselves with a new coach.
“Don’t connect last instance to this one. Pakistan was never coming. They have two athletes who have qualified for pistol events for the Tokyo Olympics,” he said referring to the denial of visas to Pakistani shooters in last year’s World Cup.
“My colleague Javed Lodhi (Pakistan shooting federation’s Executive Vice President) has informed me that ‘our coach in Germany is only available during that time and our shooters would ather train with him for the Olympic events than participate in the World Cup’,” added Raninder.
Last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had suspended all Indian applications to host international events after two Pakistani shooters were denied visas to compete in the World Cup held here. The sanction was later lifted after assurances from the Sports Ministry that political issues will not come in the way of granting visas to participating athletes.