New Delhi: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to Nicky Morgan, Member of Parliament in the UK, asking for her personal intervention to get shooting included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Birmingham.
In June, the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had decided to exclude shooting from the 2022 Games, following which the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had threatened to boycott the event.
In the letter dated September 3, Rijiju said the decision of the CGF executive board to exclude shooting is based on the premise that shooting had never been a compulsory sport and there is no venue available for holding shooting events.
"Unfortunately, at present, India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games executive council and in the functional committees of the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, it could not put forward its case for the inclusion of shooting in 2022 Birmingham CWG," the Sports Minister said in the letter addressed to Morgan, a Conservative Party member who is also the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
"As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 countries with a population of 2.4 billion. India alone has more than half of this. India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and would continue to be so.
"The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting events involving Indian shooters. In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG. I request your personal intervention in ensuring the continued inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG," he added.
Earlier, CGF Chief Louise Martin had insisted that shooting will not be a part of the 2022 edition of the Games due to space constrains.
Indian shooters bagged 16 medals, including seven gold, at last year's Gold Coast Games where they finished in third place with 66 medals.
It will be for the first time since 1974 that shooting won't a part of the Commonwealth Games and only the second time since its first inclusion in 1966.