POSTED: August 9th 2009

England quit badminton championship after terrorist threat

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: England’s team has flown home from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad in India because of "a specific terrorist threat" made by extremists. The eight-strong squad and officials took the decision on Saturday and flew out late in the evening.

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy said: “This was an incredibly tough decision. After the Olympic Games, this is the most prestigious championships in the world for our sport 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."

The decision followed reports of a threat by a Muslim extremist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. Christy said the team, which included Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson, had taken advice from the Foreign Office and British High Commission.

Performance director Ian Moss said: “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.

"This was a unanimous squad decision and is not reflective of the efforts made by the organising committee to create the safest environment possible for all athletes. We all hope the championships are extremely successful."

Keywords · badminton · England · Hyderabad · India

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