POSTED: August 12th 2009

England hit back in badminton security row

Nathan Robertson: Olympic silver medallist /
Nathan Robertson: Olympic silver medallist /

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Olympic medallist Nathan Robertson has defender the decision by the England badminton squad to pull out of the world championships in India because of fears of terrorist action.

Robertson, who won silver in Beijing, was responding to suggestions from event organisers and the other British teams, that the English players and officials had acted over-hastily to a report in a local newspaper that the Lashkar-e-Taiba group was planning to target the tournament.

He said: "We were promised proper security but when we were being driven from the hotel there was only the bus driver with us, not a guard of any sort. It doesn't matter to me where this is in the world, we weren't safe in that situation. It wasn't a difficult decision in my mind. It wasn't a safe place for staff of players."

However India's leading player Saina Nehwal described the England decision as "immature".

Indian home secretary G K Pillai said: "This is an unfortunate over-reaction. The security arrangements in Hyderabad are good and we are committed, as a government, to ensuring the complete security of the championship."

Keywords · India · England · world badminton championship · Robertson · security · terrorists

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