The English badminton federation has apologised to India and British Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe to his Indian counterpart M.S. Gill for pulling out of the World Badminton Championships held in Hyderabad from August 10 to 16, following perceived security threat.
“I am aware our decision is likely to have increased scrutiny on the championships and placed additional pressure on the authorities. For that, I apologise,” Adrian Christy, chief executive of Badminton England (BE), wrote to V.K. Verma, president of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), in a letter received on Monday.
“It was never our intention to generate the significant media attention that followed our withdrawal,” Christy’s letter said.
A Sports Ministry official said Sutcliffe called Gill on Friday and assured him of England’s support when Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games next year.
Christy too said the English shuttlers were “looking forward to visiting India in October 2010 for the Commonwealth Games”.
The apology is being seen as a moral victory for India.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram had then said that England’s decision had left him “burning inside”, since it seemed to question
India’s capacity to provide adequate security.
Verma said “the piece of good news” proved how baseless the worries over security that some teams had were”.