Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin is set to lead a visit to India ©Rwanda CGA

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Dame Louise Martin and chief executive David Grevemberg are set to travel to India, to try and persuade the country to drop its threat of boycotting Birmingham 2022 in a row over shooting not being included in the programme.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has warned it is considering not sending any athletes to the Games after shooting was not one of the 19 sports chosen.

The IOA has already carried out its threat to boycott the CGF General Assembly here.

It is due to discuss whether to boycott Birmingham 2022 at a meeting later this month, but Dame Louise and Grevemberg hope to hold talks with them in November. 

"We value India and their participation in the Commonwealth Games," Grevemberg told delegates here, concerned that the world's biggest democracy could miss Birmingham 2022.

Shooting, while not a compulsory Commonwealth Games sport, has been part of every event since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.

India has traditionally been strong in the sport, winning 16 medals, including seven golds, at Gold Coast 2018.

But Birmingham 2022 claimed they did not have the facilities to accommodate shooting and were not prepared to host it at the Bisley National Shooting Centre, more than 130 miles away.

India's Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju today wrote to Britain's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nicky Morgan urging her to intervene in the row.

"As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 countries with a population of 2.4 billion," Rijiju wrote.

"India alone has more than half of this.

Shooting has traditionally been India's strongest sport at the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Shooting has traditionally been India's strongest sport at the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

"India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and would continue to be so.

"The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting events involving Indian shooters. 

"In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG. 

"I request your personal intervention in ensuring the continued inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG,”

But Grevemberg claimed that some of the blame for shooting being dropped from the programme for only the second time in 56 years was down to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

He claimed that, unlike other world governing bodies, the ISSF did little to promote shooting in the Commonwealth. 

"The ISSF needs to take some responsibility in terms of development of shooting across the Commonwealth," Grevemberg said.

"It is not just a matter of we like shooting or we don't like shooting.

"The ISSF needs to engage with us.

"We are committed to engaging shooting, as well as India."