Sunday, August 9, 2009

Terror threats disturbs players

Terror threats have become a new hurdle to overcome for players taking part in the World Badminton Championship, which begins Monday in Hyderabad, India.

Even as the Badminton World Federation (BWF) continued to allay fears of security risks to players, Malaysian shuttlers are a little disturbed about recent talk of potential terror threats.

World's top singles player Datuk Lee Chong Wei admitted that a newspaper report on Saturday had upset the team.

"It is disturbing to hear about the news (terror threats) in the paper, some of our players are also disturbed but we leave it to the team managers and the government to decide (if the team will stay)," said Chong Wei.

On Saturday, the Times of India reported in its front page that India's Intelligence Bureau (IB) suspected terrorists could target the badminton championship, where about 330 players from 43 countries would participate.

Meanwhile, BWF tried to assuage the alleged threats and assured that adequate safety measures were being taken to protect the teams in Hyderabad, but admitted they could not convince the English team to stay.

"BWF respects the decision by the English team, its unfortunate that they made their decision before we had an opportunity to properly brief them. There is no specific threat coming from any group," BWF chief operating officer Thomas Lund told the media today.

BWF will not impose a fine on the English team but instead England need to pay a withdrawal fee of US$250 per player. The nine-member England team departed from India, Sunday morning.

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