We didn’t tell coach to f**k off, says Team England

2010-10-09 13:06

New Delhi – England officials at the Commonwealth Games have denied accusations that a team member had abused an Indian coach after controversy during the home nation’s recurve women’s team gold win.

Indian coach Limba Ram told the Hindustan Times that after his team’s victory yesterday he “extended my hand to this person wearing white and red. He shoved my hand away and told me ‘f**k off’.”

The women’s recurve team event was mired in controversy as the rowdy home crowd chanted loudly during England’s final arrows in the battle against India for gold.

The English archers struggled to concentrate and lost narrowly, later saying the noise was against the spirit of the sport.

Today, England released a statement denying that any athlete or support staff had verbally abused the Indian coach.

“Following an internal team investigation, there is no indication that an English official was involved in yesterday’s alleged rudeness to an Indian official at the archery venue,” the statement said.

“As an England team we have all worked hard with our Indian hosts to make these Games successful and to respect each others’ cultures. We would ask, of course, that athletes are respected when they are competing in the spirit of fair play in sport,” it added.

Yesterday, English archer Amy Oliver had complained about the chanting of “Come on India” as she performed.

“The crowd was not good. They were pretty loud – it was not good sportsmanship,” she said.

England picked up two more archery golds today with Nicky Hunt and Duncan Busby winning the women’s and men’s individual compound events, taking England’s archery total to four golds.

‘Bad manners’

After collecting his medal, Busby said that the crowd’s behaviour yesterday was a mixture of bad manners and natural enthusiasm.

“We don’t usually get that sort of noise at archery,” he said. “I was here and actually it was good to see a lot of people making some noise. But really they should be respectful as the archer is preparing to shoot and shooting.

“It is a bit of bad sportsmanship to make a lot of noise while an archer is trying to make a shot. It must just be the different cultures. Obviously they were very excited with their home country in a match.”

Mike Fennell, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, responded to the row by saying that officials “should try and ensure quiet at the sensitive times of a sport”.

Archery’s governing body issued a statement stressing that spectators had to be silent while archers drew their bows.

The atmosphere at the archery was calmer today as no Indians reached the medal matches.

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