The Indian Olympic Association has yet to ratify the hosting of the 2022 Archery and Archery Championships due to the lack of a face-to-face meeting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which could also make it difficult to hold these events.
IOA Secretary-General Rajiv Mehta also said it would be really difficult to host the two events in Chandigarh in seven months, given the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and the impending vaccination of billions of people.
“We need a physical meeting of the Executive Committee or the General Chamber (of the IOA) to formally ratify the championships and plan them accordingly. But the pandemic has not allowed us to have a physical meeting so far,” Mehta told PTI.
“As for the venue, some of the archery (association) want it in Delhi instead of Chandigarh. So nothing has been decided and the pandemic has really made it difficult for us.”
In February last year, the British Community Games Federation (CGF) agreed to add the medals from the two events to the CWG final one week after the event ended following India’s threat to withdraw from the Birmingham Games.
“IOA members will have to discuss hosting these two events in January next year, and no one knows when this pandemic will be overcome,” Mehta said.
“I don’t know how many Indians will be vaccinated in seven months. How many countries will send their athletes to India if the pandemic continues until then? The family of the British Commonwealth has 72 countries and hosting two big events is no joke.
“There is talk of the possibility of a third wave and the precautions that people and countries will have to take. Do we have to plan two big two international competitions during this time? These are the things that IOA members will have to take into account.”
When CGF contacted PTI, he said, “it will ultimately be up to the IOA and the relevant authorities in India to decide whether the event can be held safely.”
“We are very aware of the impact that the pandemic is having in India, while the safety and security of the British community athletes who have to compete in the event will be a top priority for CGF and IOA.”
Mehta said the CGF had not told the IOA that the medals of the archery and archery championships would not be added to the 2022 CWG final in Birmingham.
“These two events must be organized, planned and funded by the national federations and the government, not by the CGF. The question is: should we continue and start planning in the middle of a pandemic and later find that there are no participants?” “
The cessation of these two events could mean that India’s medal during the Birmingham Games in 2022 will fall sharply as the country is accustomed to a big medal in shooting.
Asked about such a scenario, Mehta said: “That’s why we (IOA) have worked really hard to make these archery and archery championships in India count medals. But we didn’t expect this pandemic.
“Now the question is purely about feasibility, as well as the health and safety of athletes.”
In July 2019, the IOA proposed a boycott of the 2022 CWG in Birmingham to remove the shooting from the list.
But after a visit by CGF President Louise Martin and then-CEO David Grevberg last November, the IOA withdrew its warning during the annual General Assembly in December 2019.
While the cost of the shooting championship has to be largely borne by the National Shooting Association of India (NRAI), the archery event will be funded solely by the Government of India.