British minister regrets pull-out


A Sports Ministry official revealed that Sutcliffe called Gill on Friday to regret Badminton England’s last-minute withdrawal from the elite tournament because of security reasons and assured England’s support when the capital hosts the Commonwealth Games next year. “During the event, Dr Gill was in Switzerland, so the UK Sports Minister did not get a chance to clarify his stance. On Friday, he called Dr Gill to regret after the English shuttlers went home from Hyderabad in a hurry,” the official said.

The BE had reacted gingerly to a Home Ministry security advisory and pulled out citing “specific” Lashkar-e-Toiba threat to the Aug 10-16 event.

“During the conversation, Dr Gill told his counterpart that BE’s decision to withdraw was uncalled for and they did not bother to discuss it with us before leaving the country. He also made it clear that neither the government nor the public here liked their action,” the official said.

Gill pointed out that England’s security fears were unfounded since the event went on without any safety hiccup.

“In his response, the UK Sports Minister assured full support for next year’s Commonwealth Games,” the official said.

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