x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Apologetic England declare support to India

Great Britain's sports minister and a leading badminton official have expressed regret to India over the England team's sudden withdrawal from the world championships in Hyderabad earlier this month.

NEW DELHI // Great Britain's sports minister and a leading badminton official have expressed regret to India over the England team's sudden withdrawal from the world championships in Hyderabad earlier this month. The Badminton England chief executive, Adrian Christy, and the sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, apologised for pulling out on the eve of the tournament due to security concerns and reassured that there would be no fallout on the Commonwealth Games, which India hosts next year.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) officials and the Indian government were critical of the withdrawal for the six-day tournament at the last moment by the England team, the only team to do so despite security checks and assurances. Badminton England have sent a letter of apology to the Badminton Association of India (BAI), while Sutcliffe telephoned his Indian counterpart, Manohar Singh Gill, on Friday and assured support when New Delhi host the Commonwealth Games.

"On behalf of everyone, I want to convey my apologies that the England team felt it necessary to withdraw from such an event and our decision was in no way a slight to the organising committee or the people of India," Christy said. "The England badminton team is very much looking forward to visiting India in October 2010 for the Commonwealth Games," he added. VK Verma, the BAI president, added: "I was told that but for the misleading reports in newspapers, the English team would have stayed on."

England also pulled out of the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold tournament, which was held in April at the same venue, but announced it well in advance. The British foreign office had advised them to do so in the wake of the terror attack in Mumbai and another on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan's city of Lahore. * AP