Australia Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has expressed satisfaction with the security measures for foreign athletes during this year’s sporting events in India in the wake of the recent terror threat by a militant group.
Mr. Smith, who met Indian authorities last year to review Commonwealth Games’ security arrangements, also said that not a single sporting event anywhere in the world was free from security scare in the current scenario.
“I was satisfied then and I’m satisfied now that all of the necessary co-ordination and consultation continues to occur and, of course, we are deeply interested in those arrangements,” Mr. Smith was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press, a news agency here.
“It is a very regrettable fact of the modern era that there are always the risk of security risks in major sporting events, whether they’re conducted in Australia, the Sydney Olympics or the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, or whether they’re conducted in India,” he said.
Mr. Smith said the Australian government would continue to update the national sporting federations about the security situation in India.
“The Australian government’s position is very well understood by the sporting community,” he said.
“We make available to the sporting teams and the sporting associations, all of our up-to-date travel and security advice and assessments ... whether sporting teams or individuals take part is entirely a matter for them.”
Australians are participating in the ongoing Commonwealth Shooting Championship in Delhi and have committed themselves to the hockey World Cup in the Indian capital from February 28.
The fresh concerns over athletes’ safety in India arose after HuJI chief and al-Qaida commander Ilyas Kashmiri warned of terror attacks on foreign players visiting India during this month’s hockey World Cup, the Indian Premier League and the Commonwealth Games to be held from October 3-14.