The Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in the national capital will host the ISSF World Cup for rifle, pistol and shotgun events from March 18 to 29. But the news of no fans allowed at the ranges has come as a dampener.
National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) secretary Rajiv Bhatia confirmed the development to TimesofIndia.com, saying that it’s one of the Covid-safety guidelines of the ISSF.
“No spectators will be allowed. Athletes and media, that’s all,” Bhatia said responding to a query by Timesofindia.com.
The tournament will have ranking points on offer, which will later help some of the international shooters, like India’s Anish Bhanwala in 25m rapid rife pistol, to secure Tokyo Olympic quotas based on rankings.
So far, Indian shooters have secured 15 Olympic quotas (13 in rifle and pistol, two in skeet).
Elaborating more on the question of spectators at the range, Bhatia said the ISSF has asked for “minimum crowds” at the venue, while also ruling out the chance of inviting spectators towards the latter part of the 12-day event.
“No, I don’t think [spectators will be allowed even in the latter half of the World Cup]. The ISSF is not allowing outsiders. The guidelines from the ISSF is no spectators, minimum crowd at the range. Only the people required should be available at the range,” the NRAI secretary said.
“We have to follow the ISSF guidelines.”
The ongoing cricket tour of the England team has seen partial crowds being allowed at the stadiums in Chennai and Ahmedabad. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided that the initial part of the Indian Premier League, which will run from April 10 to May 30, will be played behind closed doors at six venues across the country.