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India scraps national badminton camp

The training camp for this month's Thomas and Uber Cup qualifiers has been cancelled due to lack of shuttlecocks as bird flu in China is hindering imports.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2008 14:36 IST

India have scrapped a training camp for this month's Thomas and Uber Cup qualifiers because of a lack of shuttlecocks, badminton officials said on Thursday.

The federation sent home over 30 players due to start training on Thursday, blaming the state-run Sports Authority of India (SAI) for not supplying the stock or allowing them to import.

The qualifiers are due to be staged in Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh from Feb 19-24. India, who qualified for the Thomas Cup finals last time, are in Group C with Japan and Pakistan.

"It is a very lackadaisical attitude," Badminton Association of India (BAI) president VKVerma told Reuters on Thursday. "They're supposed to provide shuttles, but are doing the game a great disfavour.

"We can't have our 30 best shuttlers, juniors and seniors, twiddling their thumbs with only five tournaments left to qualify for the Olympics."

Verma said the state agency had not even done the initial paperwork on a request forwarded six weeks ago.

The SAI chief Ratan Watal told a national daily that supplies would be made soon and that bird flu in China were hindering imports.