The International Olympic Committee suspended all discussions with India and urged international sports federations not to hold events in the country, or grant hosting rights for future competitions until the government provides “clear written guarantees” to ensure access for all athletes.
This came after two Pakistan shooters were denied visas to compete for the ISSF Shooting World Cup in New Delhi. It also resulted in the scrapping of two of the 16 Tokyo Olympic quota places on offer in the marquee tournament.
The IOC said the refusal of visas for competitors went against the principles of the Olympic charter relating to discrimination and political interference from the host country.
The International Olympic Committee has suspended applications from India to host future events
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 22, 2019
The denial was followed by the Pulwama terror attack that happened on February 14 which led to the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker.
In the attack, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
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The two Pakistani shooters that were barred by India for the competition were GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed.
IOC takes away 2 quotas, spares India the blushes The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against withdrawing all the Olympic quotas from the shooting World Cup here and revoked just two after visas were denied to Pakistani shooters in the aftermath of the Pulwama …
— News Syndicate (@NewsSyndicate) February 22, 2019
The IOC has decided to entertain India only after a “clear written guarantees” to ensure access for all athletes is provided by the Indian government.
The IOC’s official statement read as follows, “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”.
“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute efforts and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC statement said.
“As a result, the IOC Executive Board also decided to suspend all discussions with the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India,” it added.
The sports equation between India and Pakistan have not been good in the past few years but such a dispute was never seen in any past multi-team events like the ISSF World Cup, Hockey World Cup or other ICC events.
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