Security Concerns: Citing security reasons, England has pulled out of Yonex-Sunrise BWF World Badminton Championships, which kick off at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday, citing terror threat over the event.
The decision was attributed to threat perceptions of the English team, which believes it could end up as a potential target in a terror strike at the event.
Badminton England on Sunday released a statement saying the eight-member team would be returning to England from Hyderabad immediately.
While terming the pull-out as disappointing, England Performance Director Ian Moss said: “Our athletes were extremely well prepared for these championships but, at the end of the day, personal safety must take priority over performance.”
Reacting to the pull-out, Badminton Association of India (BAI) said that the decision would not impact the championship.
“It’s not a major setback. They have reacted on the basis of a wrong media report. We asked them to reconsider but they had made up their mind. This won’t effect the tournament as all other teams have confirmed their participation,” BAI President, VK Verma, was quoted as saying by the CNN-IBN website.
On the other hand Badminton England maintained that the terror threats were genuine and claimed that security arrangements were not foolproof.
Some 450 players from 43 countries are participating in the tournament that has seen intelligence agencies up the red flag citing reports of a specific terror threat to the event from the dreaded LeT.
Though, tournament organizers have denied such reports, the pull-out by England just might see others emulate the move and shuttle out of the championships and the country.