IOC suspends events in India after Pakistan shooters were denied visa

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to “suspend all discussions” with India regarding hosting global sporting events after Pakistani shooters were not issued visas for the World Cup in New Delhi.

The IOC says it will not allow India to hosts further Olympic events unless the IOC receives a written assurance from the Government of India.

Two Pakistani shooters GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed couldn’t play the rapid fire category, that also served as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee came down heavily on India for going against the Olympic charter.

India urged participation from the international community to completely boycott Pakistan after the Pulwama terrorist attacks that rocked the States of Jammu and Kashmir last week.

The statement released by the IOC says –

“The IOC was informed on 18 February that the Indian government authorities failed to grant an entry visa to the Pakistani delegation comprising two athletes and one official who were meant to participate in the ISSF World Cup. This is a qualification competition for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in which direct quotas are earned by the respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The two Pakistani athletes were due to compete in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event, starting Saturday 23 February, in which two quota places are available for the Games.

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. 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.

Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF and the Indian NOC, and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete.

This situation goes against the Fundamental Principles of the Olympic Charter, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, as well as the IOC’s and the Olympic Movement’s position, reiterated on many occasions over the past few years, that equal treatment must be guaranteed for all participating athletes and sporting delegations at international sports events, without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country.

As a result, the IOC Executive Board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India, until clear written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter – and to recommend that the IFs neither award to nor hold sports events in India until the above-mentioned guarantees are obtained.

The ISSF was asked to make a proposal on how the two available Olympic quota places will now be otherwise reassigned.”