India should pull out of the Commonwealth Games permanently because a lack of strong competition makes participation a waste of time and money, the country’s Olympic chief Narinder Batra says.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has already threatened to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England due to the exclusion of shooting which supplied 16 of India’s 66 medals at last year’s event on Australia’s Gold Coast, including seven golds.”These Games have no standard. For me, these are a waste of time and money. We win 70 medals, 100 medals at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) while at the Olympics, we get stuck at two (medals),” IOA President Batra told the Indian Express newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday.”That means the level of competition isn’t high at CWG. It’s not a ranking tournament either. So why waste time? We should rather go to better competitions and prepare for the Olympics.Indian athletes managed just a silver and a bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016 but finished third in the medals table at the Commonwealth Games last year.Without shooting, however, India would slip to anywhere between fifth and eighth place in 2022, according to IOA estimates.India is relentlessly putting pressure on the Commonwealth Games Federation (CFG) to get shooting back on the roster in the 2022 CWG and the country’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju has sought the intervention of the British government for its restoration.CGF chief Louise Martin is set to meet Batra in the Indian capital on Nov. 14 and the IOA will discuss the matter before that to reach a consensus.advertisement”I’m not in favour of the boycott. In sports, you never use the word boycott. My fundamental principle is either we withdraw permanently or go and compete,” Batra said.We will have an internal discussion in IOA before the meeting (with CGF) on Nov. 14. I’ll put up this suggestion in the IOA meeting and see if there is a consensus. We’ll have political decisions as well.The Commonwealth Games began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.”The entire Middle East does not compete in CWG. The USA doesn’t either, Batra said. As a sports administrator, it is my duty to make sure India has a strong team for the 2024, 2028, 2032 Olympics. We won’t achieve that by competing at the CWG.”Also Read | Hope India’s shooting talent gets reflected at Tokyo Olympics: Kiren RijijuAlso Read | We have no space anymore: CWG chief on shooting exclusion from 2022 Games despite India threat
The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU BRUSSELS, Belgium — Europe’s economy is still reeling and unemployment could remain high for years in spite of the progress made in solving the debt crisis, the European Union warned Wednesday as it downgraded its forecasts for the 27-country bloc.The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on Wednesday revised its forecast for the economy of the entire region, saying that it now expected the region’s gross domestic product to contract by 0.3% on an annual basis this year, rather than remaining flat as it predicted in the spring. It also said that the 17 countries that use the euro will contract, with GDP falling 0.4%, against a previous expectation of a 0.3% fall.But the most significant downgrade is for next year’s forecast. The commission had expected the eurozone to find its footing in 2013, with 1% growth. Now it predicts only a 0.1% uptick. For all 27 countries in the EU, it forecasts 0.4% growth, compared with 1.3% last spring.[np-related /]The report also suggests that unemployment won’t start falling until 2014 — and then only slightly.“The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU,” the report said. “Yet, compared to the situation before the summer, over the last few months financial tensions have somewhat abated.”Official third-quarter GDP figures for the EU and the eurozone, which will show whether the region has entered recession, are due to be released on Nov. 15. A recession is defined as two quarters in a row with negative growth.The eurozone has made progress this year toward resolving its debt crisis, which has been dragging down economies throughout the EU and beyond. Countries that use the euro have slashed spending and promised to keep their deficits in check; they’ve vowed to better protect their banks by improving how they’re regulated and supervised; and the European Central Bank has put in place a plan to help countries struggling with high borrowing costs, the hallmark of the crisis and the reason some have sought bailouts.But those measures are still to be felt in the real economy. The unemployment rate across the eurozone is at a record high of 11.6%, and it is 10.6% in the wider EU. In the latest in a steady stream of job cuts Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, Swedish wireless equipment group LM Ericsson, and Dutch bank ING announced a total of almost 7,000 layoffs Wednesday. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, also said retail sales in the eurozone shrank 0.2% in September.Many economists have argued that, in solving one crisis by cutting government spending and raising taxes, politicians have exacerbated another — slow or negative growth. Meanwhile, tighter banking rules have hurt lending, the fuel economies need to grow.Greece has suffered the most from this vicious cycle and is now in its fifth year of recession. Many say it’s unclear how the country will ever manage to reduce its debts, spark growth and break the cycle. The new forecast expects Greece’s economy to contract 6% this year and another 4.2% next year. In the spring, the commission had hoped growth would be flat in 2013.A similar story is played out across the EU, with the 2013 forecasts for most countries significantly worse than they had been just a few months ago. Even powerhouse Germany is expected to eke out just 0.8% growth now, compared with 1.7% in the spring.