The International Shooting Sport Federation says it is "looking forward to learning more about the bidding plans" of other 2022 Commonwealth Games candidate cities following Liverpool's omission of the sport ©ISSF

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has claimed cities bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games should include the sport on their programme because it is contested by so many countries.

Shooting has been contested at every Commonwealth Games since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970. 

It is also due to be held at next year's Games in the Gold Coast. 

But Liverpool revealed last week they would not include it on the programme if they are awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games to replace Durban. 

English rival Birmingham has so far released only limited details, along with their bid logo and slogan, and have not confirmed a full list of which sports would feature or where they would be held.

insidethegames has been told they are only including those for which the city and the wider West Midlands region has facilities.

As is the case for Liverpool, the closest Olympic-standard shooting range to Birmingham is 130 miles away in Bisley in Surrey, meaning the sport faces being excluded from the West Midlands’ city’s plans.

Shooting currently features on the Commonwealth Games Federation's list of optional sports from which a Games candidate city can include up to seven.

Liverpool has selected Twenty20 cricket and track cycling as its optional sports, both of which would take place in Manchester at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and the city’s velodrome respectively.

Cricket is also expected to be included in Birmingham's list of sports so they can use Edgbaston.

Like British Shooting, the ISSF has told insidethegames it will be monitoring the other contenders’ plans.

"The ISSF is aware of press reports that Liverpool’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid does not include shooting sport," Franz Schreiber, secretary general of the world governing body’s secretary general, said.

"Our sport is unfortunately optional in the Commonwealth Games programme.

"However, shooting sport events have proven to be very successful over the years, and they have been an important factor of universality for many Commonwealth Games editions."

Shooting features on the Commonwealth Games Federation's list of optional sports ©Getty Images
Shooting features on the Commonwealth Games Federation's list of optional sports ©Getty Images

England are third in the all-time Commonwealth Games shooting medal table with 47 golds, 58 silvers and 63 bronzes.

Fellow Home Nation Scotland are sixth with 12 golds, 15 silvers and 18 bronzes, while Wales are ninth with five golds, seven silvers and 10 bronzes.

Northern Ireland are 10th with five golds, two silvers and five bronzes.

Australia top the overall standings with 67 golds, 54 silvers and 42 bronzes.

India would also be particularly hit hard if shooting was dropped.

They are currently second on the all-time medal table having won 56 gold, 40 silver and 22 bronze.

"We should not forget that about 40 countries are usually participating in shooting sport events at the Commonwealth Games, a figure which is well above average," Schreiber told insidethegames.

"The ISSF is, therefore, looking forward to learn more about the bidding plans of other candidate cities.

"We are sure that the bidding process to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be very competitive."

The attempts of Liverpool and Birmingham to secure the hosting rights for the 2022 Games come after the deadline to formally submit the Preliminary Phase Questionnaire to the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit on June 16.

Durban had chosen shooting as one of its optional sports for 2022 along with wheelchair basketball, cycling, judo, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling.

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, host of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, is among the locations to have expressed firm interest in stepping in to replace Durban, stripped of the 2022 Games in March due to a lack of financial guarantees.

Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia have also revealed they may be interested, while Victoria in Canada announced earlier this month that it will bid.