India’s attempts at trying to get the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to reverse its decision of removing shooting from the Games Programme for 2022 have come to a dead end. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) Secretary Rajiv Bhatia said that there is nothing that it can do now that the organising committee has taken a final call on the matter.

“We tried out everything but now that the organising committee has taken a final call on it, nothing can be done. It’s over now,” Bhatia told IANS.

It was revealed in June that the Executive Board of the CGF had decided to exclude shooting from 2022 Games to be held in Birmingham. It is the first time since 1970 that shooting won’t be seen at the Commonwealth Games and only the second since its first inclusion in 1966.

The move comes as a blow to India which won 16 medals, including seven gold in the event at the 2018 CWG at Gold Coast, Australia. NRAI president Raninder Singh had said in 2018 that it would want the Indian government to boycott the 2022 Games in the event if shooting was dropped from the programme.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said in June that the government won’t be able to interfere in the matter but it would explore diplomatic channels to get shooting included.

Earlier, amidst the controversy, Indian ace shooter Heena Sidhu said that India should have to be united against the CWF’s move.

“If they are throwing their weight, we can also throw our weight. But then again, it’s not fair as because of a few sportspersons, others will also suffer. But we have to be united, otherwise today it is happening with shooting, a few years back there was also some problem with wrestling… Who is going to stand for the sportspersons if you are not standing for one sport? We definitely need to have a common front,” the 29-year-old shooter told media persons.

(With inputs from IANS)