IOC lifts India ban after Pakistan visa assurances

Lausanne (AFP) –


The International Olympic Committee has lifted a ban on India hosting international sporting events after receiving assurances over visas for Pakistani competitors.

In February, India triggered a stand off with the IOC when it refused to allow Pakistani shooters attend a Tokyo 2020 Games qualifying competition.

But on Thursday, IOC president Thomas Bach said India were now back in the Olympic fold.

"We have received the assurance of the Indian government that they will in future respect the Olympic charter and that they will give permission to enter India for all athletes who want to participate in the relevant Olympic events or qualifications events," Bach announced.

The Olympic chief continued: "For this reason the (IOC) Executive Board has today (Thursday) lifted this suspension of India to organise international sports events."

India had accused Pakistan of involvement in a suicide bombing in Kashmir in February that killed 40 paramilitary soldiers and had vowed to "isolate" its arch-rival neighbour over the attack.