NEW DELHI: The organizers of the World Cup in New Delhi have addressed the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) with a proposal to postpone the tournament from March 15 to later dates when the situation with the COVID-19 virus may become better and all athletes who would like take part in the World Cup could do it.
In particular, it is proposed to divide the World Cup in two parts and hold Rifle and Pistol competitions on May 5-12, while Shotgun competitions – on June 2-9.
The ISSF further stated: "Taking in consideration the global extraordinary situation, preventive measures undertaken on the governmental level in many countries and, at the same time, the necessity to give all athletes equal chances to become participants of the Olympic Games, the ISSF has requested the IOC to prolong the internal Olympic Qualification period in the shooting sport. In case of the IOC approval, the World Cups in Munich, Germany, and Baku, Azerbaijan, can also influence the outcome of the Olympic Qualification. It must be noted that all Qualification Quota Places, as planned, will be allocated by May 31, 2020. There will be only 12 not allocated Quota Places according to the World Ranking and a small number of unused Quota Places due for reallocation.
"Once again we attract attention to the necessity of being very careful with air tickets bookings, hotel reservations and other travel expenses due to the uncertainty of the situation in order to avoid possible financial losses."
The Tribune reports that the decision to postpone the event was taken in the aftermath of the government of India advisory that suspended visa requests from Japan, Italy, South Korea, and Iran.
“All regular (sticker) visas/e-visa (including VOA for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan issued on or before 03.03.2020 and who have not entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect,” the advisory had said.
The ISSF subsequently announced that the participants will not be awarded ranking points.
"Due to local restrictions relating to the COVID-19 virus introduced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, the organisers of the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi cannot guarantee the participation of all the athletes who would like to enter those competitions, " the ISSF had said in its statement.
"Therefore no ranking points can be earned at this World Cup. Still, it will be possible to achieve the MQS that can influence on athletes' chances to get the desired Olympic Quota Places," it had added.
Speaking to The Tribune, National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh said that decision was taken in consultation with the International Olympic Committee.
"The decision was taken in view of the extraordinary circumstances that we as a country and the world is facing now," he said.
"The combined World Cup will now be held in two parts. One for the rifle and pistol competitions and one for the shotgun events, dates of which will be released shortly," he added.