NEW DELHI: United Kingdom's Minister of Sport Richard Caborn expects "appropriate action" from the concerned authorities in sports, politics and security on the issue of racial abuse.
"This is where sports and politics come together," was how Mr. Caborn chose to put it on Thursday when answering questions pertaining to reports of English cricketers Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen being subjected to racial abuse in Australia.
Mr. Caborn strongly advocated a sustained campaign against racism in sports. "It begins with self policing with people, including politicians, saying we are not prepared to tolerate this. This is totally unacceptable," he said.
Mr. Caborn is heading a 19-member United Kingdom business delegation that is here to meet the officials involved in organising the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Mr. Caborn will also be meeting the officials of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to explore the areas of cooperation when India hosts the 2011 World Cup.
"London (which hosts the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) and New Delhi have aging infra-structure. In both cities, we wish to have an economic and social regeneration programme in place. This will ensure sustained revenue from the use of infrastructure once the Games are over. In our delegation we have experts in various fields including transport systems, security, hospitality, volunteering and temporary stadiums. These experts are here to help since India has created affordable opportunities to host the 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Olympic Games," said Mr. Caborn.
Mr. Martin Harman (Chairman, Pinsent Masons - a law firm), who is a key member of the delegation, indicated that India was slow in its preparedness for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. "1,400 days are not too many. India is already on the homestretch. There's no time for warming up. You need to sprint. India cannot take things casually any more," was a carefully-worded caution from Mr. Harman.