ISSF President Vladimir Lisin has criticised the absence of shooting sport in Hamilton's plans to stage the 2026 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Vladimir Lisin, President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), has warned that the absence of shooting from the 2026 Commonwealth Games programme of prospective hosts Hamilton, would "negatively affect" a significant number of nations, including Canada.

Hamilton 2026 Bid Committee chairman Louis Frapporti confirmed during a recent Virtual Community Forum that shooting was not part of the proposal.

"At present I don’t believe that shooting is a part of these Games," he said.

"One of the challenges we’ve had is working with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Commonwealth sports to come up with a Games programme that is modified and a little less ambitious than their usual Games programme."

Lisin told insidethegames: "The decision on the candidates and the 2026 Commonwealth Games competition programme depends on the decision of the Commonwealth Games Federation Executive Council.

"The ISSF cannot take positively the information of the 2026 Hamilton Games Bid Committee’s head that shooting sport may not be included in the Games programme.

"It should be borne in mind that, for example, 277 athletes representing 38 nations took part in the 2018 Gold Coast Games.

"And only in the Olympic programme, 15 sets of medals were distributed between them. Canadian athletes were among the winners there as well.

"In general, during the 2018-2019 ISSF competitions, the Canadian team took part in 21 shotgun events and in seven rifle and pistol events and won one quota place for the 2020 Olympics as well.

"Thus it is obvious that the decision not to include shooting sport to the 2026 Games programme will negatively affect not only a significant number of member nations and athletes of the Commonwealth but Canadian athletes as well."

ISSF President Vladimir Lisin says the absence of shooting from the sports programme in the 2026 Commonwealth Games plan of Hamilton would
ISSF President Vladimir Lisin says the absence of shooting from the sports programme in the 2026 Commonwealth Games plan of Hamilton would "negatively affect" competitors from numerous nations, not least Canada itself ©Getty Images

The news that shooting could miss out for a second consecutive Commonwealth Games will be viewed with concern by all those anxious to retain in the Games a sport which has been included at every staging since Kingston in 1966 - with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.

The announcement in January 2018 that shooting would not feature at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games because of a lack of local facilities caused a furore, and later that year an ISSF delegation including Lisin visited Birmingham to discuss arrangements with Games officials.

India even threatened to boycott Birmingham 2022 over the lack of shooting on the programme.

But shooting’s exclusion, along with that of archery, was confirmed by the CGF on August 13 last year.

In January of this year the Indian Olympic Association proposed hosting Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships at Chandigarh, with results being added to the Birmingham 2022 medals table - a proposal later approved by the CGF.

It is not yet certain where the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be held. 

Canadian Government approval had already been obtained for Hamilton to stage the Games in 2030, marking the centenary of its hosting of the first edition in 1930.

But the Ontario city switched its attention to the 2026 event following a request from the CGF, which has been dealing with Hamilton exclusively after the South Australian Government announced last September they would not be backing a bid by Adelaide.

Last Wednesday (October 7), however, the Hamilton Bid Committee was encouraged by Ontario Premier Doug Ford to look into the possibility of staging the event "in 2027 or beyond".

The Hamilton 2026 Bid Committee does not currently have the backing of City, Provincial or Federal Governments, and the office of the Ontario Premier has made it clear that it is focused on provincial capital Toronto hosting FIFA World Cup matches in 2026, rather than the Commonwealth Games coming to the region that year.