The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have dropped their boycott threat to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games. In an about turn, the IOA said it will now bid for either the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games (CWG).
India had threatened to boycott the Games in Birmingham after shooting was excluded. Shooting has been a mainstay for the Indians at the previous Games’ and
The decisions were taken during the IOA Annual General Meeting in New Delhi earlier today.
“We have decided to make a bid for 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games and we have also decided to send our contingent to Birmingham for the 2022 Games,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told the Press Trust of India after the meeting.
Dame Louise Martin, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president, welcomed the good news.
“The CGF and the entire Commonwealth Sport Movement are delighted India has confirmed their intent to participate at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games during their Annual General Meeting in New Delhi,” she said.
“Following a useful and constructive CGF visit to India in November, we felt confident and reassured that the athletes and sports community of India places huge value and importance on the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Sport Movement.
“Our visit and collaboration have significantly strengthened our partnership with the Indian Commonwealth Games Association, under the leadership of President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, and we are continuing to work closely.
“Finally, we are delighted that India have expressed an ambition to host another Commonwealth Games in the future,” she added.
With the threat of boycott over, the IOA are also supporting the proposal from the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) to host a Commonwealth Shooting Championship as a prelude to the CWG.
The event to be fully funded by the NRAI is being mooted to make up for the exclusion of shooting in Birmingham as well as to strengthen shootings inclusion in future editions.
The decision to host the event, however, still needs to get the approval of the CGF.
The IOA is also expected to get the clearance of the Indian government before making a formal bid to host the CWG in 2026 or 2030.
India last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The Games was mired by various controversies including the escalation of the budget from an initial estimate of US$230 million to US$1.7 billion.
The CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in a corruption scandal related to the Games but was later released on bail.