Sports ministry, CGF evade queries on Batra's comment

Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 08:53 IST | PTI |

When contacted, a sports ministry official refused to comment on Batra's assertion, saying "at this stage the government does not wish to react".

Narinder Batra
Narinder Batra

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Wednesday evaded queries on IOA President Narinder Batra's assertion that the CWG was a waste of time and the country should consider a permanent pull out from the quadrennial event. Batra felt that the level of competition at the CWG is not high and Indian athletes should be better served if they compete at better tournaments.

He had earlier called for an Indian boycott of the 2022 CWG in Birmingham over the non-inclusion of shooting from the Games roster. When contacted, a sports ministry official refused to comment on Batra's assertion, saying "at this stage the government does not wish to react". The CGF also chose not react on the issue. "We do not wish to respond directly to the comments allegedly made here," CGF Media and Communications Manager Tom Degun told PTI. The CGF official was asked if Batra's comments will have any impact on the likely visit of CGF chief Louise Martin in November to discuss the "concerns" raised by India on shooting's exclusion from the Birmingham Games. "... but our President Dame Louise Martin and CEO David Grevemberg are looking forward to constructive meetings with the Indian Olympic Association in November," Degun said. A few days back, Batra had accepted Martin's suggestion to meet him in New Delhi in November.

"The intended purpose of our visit would be to cover the following three areas: To provide any further clarification necessary on the composition and process for determining the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme, recognising the concerns raised by India (including relations going forward with the ISSF and ICFRA); "To see and discuss first-hand the continuing legacy of Delhi 2010 CWG (infrastructure, sport, economic and social); and opportunity to meet athletes, regional sport bodies and federations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to present and discuss Transformation 2022 Refresh: The Commonwealth Sport Strategic Plan (2019-2022) and India's engagement moving forward," the CGF official said.

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