India could host shooting and archery events ahead of the main 2022 Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has confirmed it is considering a proposal from Commonwealth Games India (CGI) to hold the events there.
The PA news agency understands it is proposed that the events take place in either New Delhi or Chandigarh on Commonwealth Day, which in 2022 would fall on Monday, March 14.
Birmingham 2022 announced in 2018 that shooting, which is an optional sport for host cities, would not feature in the Games. Archery, which is also optional, was dropped from the programme in June last year.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin has welcomed the fantastic news that India have confirmed their intent to participate at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳#CommonwealthGames #CommonwealthSport #Birmingham2022https://t.co/0D2bMwS18D pic.twitter.com/gYFinjz5Jj
— Commonwealth Games Federation (@thecgf) December 30, 2019
India had at one stage threatened to boycott the Games because of the decision to drop shooting, and it has now come up with a novel – if somewhat bizarre – solution.
CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said: “The proposal will be reviewed and considered in January and February by the CGF and discussed with Birmingham 2022 delivery partners.
“Key aspects of this assessment will be to ensure that the proposal conforms with our rules and regulations, is operationally deliverable, sets manageable precedents for the Commonwealth Games and ultimately adds value to athletes and the Commonwealth Sports Movement.
“Finally, we would like to thank the CGI, the National Rifle Association of India, the government of India and the entire sporting community of India for their leadership and significant efforts taken to submit an innovative proposal with the ambition of strengthening Commonwealth sport.”
India won 16 shooting medals at the last Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.
The 2022 Games will run from July 27 to August 7, with Birmingham stepping in to replace original host city Durban.
CGF president Dame Louise Martin said last month that India had confirmed its intention to compete in the 2022 Games, and said the country had expressed an interest in hosting the Games in 2026 or 2030.
A decision is set to be taken by the executive board on whether to accept the proposal at its next meeting on February 20 and 21. It is understood the board could ratify the decision, or open it up to a vote of the 71 member associations.
British Shooting welcomed the proposal, saying: “We are hugely interested in, and encouraged by, what is being suggested and continue to support the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) to ensure there will be a meaningful event for shooting athletes in the Commonwealth.”
Birmingham 2022 did not wish to comment.