New Delhi, Aug 11: Badminton England has apologised to the Indian contingent participating in World Championships for the 'anxiety' caused by the London riots and assured the safety and security of the players in the wake of the violence that gripped Britain.
“I apologise for the anxiety that the situation in England has caused you and the Indian Team but please be assured that safety is our first priority and we remain constantly vigilant,” said Geoff Rofe, Badminton England President in a letter to BAI President Akhilesh Das Gupta.
“Badminton England and the Badminton World Federation are in constant communication with police and security services and have been able to reassure the Team Managers of every precaution we have taken to enable the safety of everyone connected with the Yonex BWF World Badminton Championship,” said Rofe in the letter released by Gupta.
Concerned with the safety of Indian players, Badminton Association of India President Gupta had written a letter to his England counterpart and also approached the Foreign Ministry, Sport Ministry, Indian High Commission in London and the World Badminton Federation.
To address BAI's concern, BWF CEO Thomas Lund met the Indian Team manager to reassure them of their safety and security.
“In direct response to the concerns raised by the Indian team, Thomas Lund, Chief Operating Officer for the BWF, personally visited the Indian Team Manager to reassure him of our actions and I understand this meeting was successful,” said Rofe in his response.
Interestingly, the England team had pulled out of 2009 World Championship held in Hyderabad citing security concerns but Gupta said the Indian shuttlers would not do so.
“It is pertinent to mention that in the year August 2009 when the World Championship was organised by Badminton Association Of India at Hyderabad, the team of Badminton England had withdrawn their players due to security threat. However, our Indian players are still participating in the said Championship besides serious law and order situation in London,” he said.
England is reeling under one of the worst riots in decades with hooded youths on the rampage, looting stores and torching vehicles for the fourth day on Thursday.