No threat to world championship: World Badminton Federation

Updated: 09 August 2009 16:39 IST

Despite England's pull out from the World Badminton Championship citing security reasons, the game's international body said there was no threat.

No threat to world championship: World Badminton Federation

Hyderabad:

Despite England's pull out from the World Badminton Championship citing security reasons, the game's international body said there was no threat to the championship.

England on Sunday pulled out of the World Badminton Championships, citing a "specific Lashkar-e-Toiba threat" against the elite event starting on Monday.

Sources told NDTV that there was no threat to the event in Hyderabad. According to them the alert issued was of general nature to which England overreacted.

"All teams were assured foolproof security. Security for tournament is more than adequate," NDTV source added.

Home Minister P Chidambaram too had assured all on Saturday that the alert issued from his ministry was a routine one and there was no specific information suggesting imminent threat to the tournament.

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"I'm satisfied that the World Badminton Championship will take place in complete security. No one needs to have any apprehensions on this score," Chidambaram said.

However, barely 24 hours before the event, Badminton England Chief Executive Adrian Christy told NDTV the decision to pull out was taken after taking advice from the Foreign Office and British High Commission. He also said players felt they did not have sufficient security.

To this an Indian official responded: "If UK has information on specific Lashkar threat, it should share that".

The England team, which also includes an Olympic silver medallist in Nathan Robertson, will return home immediately.

"This was an incredibly tough decision and one we didn't take lightly. After the Olympic Games, this is the most prestigious Championships in the world but we were not prepared to risk the safety of our players, coaches and staff in what we felt could have been a very volatile environment," Christy said in a statement.

"We are extremely grateful for the speed in which the BWF and the Organising Committee reacted to the concerns following the threat. We have carefully considered the comments made by the local police authorities and we know that they have the best interest of all competitors in mind," Christy said.

"We have also listened to the advice from the Foreign Office and British High Commission. We have been in constant dialogue with them over the past couple of days.

"The conclusion is that safety is of paramount importance and therefore, with great regret, the team will be returning home immediately," he added.

Ian Moss, England's Performance Director, said the shuttlers were disappointed as they prepare to leave India without taking part in the tournament.

"It is a disappointing outcome, especially after we had enjoyed a very good preparation at our holding camp in Doha, Qatar, last week.

"Our athletes were extremely well prepared for these Championships but, at the end of the day, personal safety must take priority over performance," Moss said.

(With PTI inputs)

Topics : Badminton
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