Pakistan and China have refused to send their athletes for the ISSF World Cup starting in New Delhi starting March 15 at the Dr. Karni Singh Ranges. China withdrew its entries considering the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health’s remained firm on their stance of refusing to grant visas to the country’s participants following the severe outbreak of Corona Virus which has resulted in the loss of lives of over 1800 people.
Besides China, Pakistan, who were banned from the competition last year as well due to tensions between the two countries as a result of the Pulwama attack, have also decided not to send their shooters to India for the World Cup. The last time it happened, India were in risk of losing future global shooting events, however, the World Cup hosting rights remained with India and with Pakistan pulling out of the event themselves, no harm should come to India’s reputation to stage tournaments going ahead.
In September last year, Muhammad Khalil Akhtar had secured an Olympic quota for Pakistan in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
Akhtar was among the two shooters from Pakistan who was denied visa to travel to New Delhi to take part in the ISSF World Cup in February last year. As a result of the visa denial, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had to remove Olympic quotas in rapid fire pistol from the World Cup.
According to the National Rifle Association of Pakistan stated that three of their shooters have qualified for the Olympics and will be attending a training camp with a top German coach in March so it makes no sense to send them for the World Cup and miss the training in Germany.