Britain's withdrawal from World Badminton comes under attack
Badminton England's decision to withdraw from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad came in for criticism from the opposition party though the British Government defended it with the sports minister saying he would explain it to India.other Updated: Aug 10, 2009 23:03 IST
Badminton England's decision to withdraw from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad came in for criticism on Monday from the opposition party though the British Government defended it with the sports minister saying he would explain it to India.
Britain's Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said his government took the decision as the security of the players was paramount.
"You have to support them, because the players' security has to come first. I will be speaking to Indian authorities about the issue and Britain will do all it can to support India ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year in New Delhi," the minister said.
Opposition Conservative's shadow foreign secretary William Hague criticised the decision to pull out, saying, "Wherever possible we should err on the side of going ahead with normal life, in the face of terrorist threat."
England Badminton team withdrew from the World championships in Hyderabad citing "a specific Lashkar-e-Toiba threat" against the elite event.
Its eight-strong team included Nathan Robertson, the Olympic silver medallist.
Badminton England said security at the tournament in Hyderabad was "very poor" and players did not feel safe. However, the Indian authorities and the organisers reacted angrily, claiming there had been no threat.