That’s Just not Sport!

I find it so frustrating that all of our favourite sporting events are being exploited by terrorists and used as weapons of fear and uncertainty.

This week we’ve seen the terror attacks in Pune, and a former Pakistani commando associated with Al-Qaeda has warned international sports players not to take part in any Indian sports events, including the 2010 Hockey World Cup, the IPL, and the Commonwealth games in Delhi in October.

Sport is one of the few things in this world that really does bring people of different nationalities, religions, race and background together. Sure, things can get heated on the field and we don’t always feel kindly towards the opposition, but that’s all part of the fun and spectacle. But to use sports events as tools for division and hatred, instead of harmony, is infuriating! Surely, these great events cannot be abandoned or sent elsewhere. The show must surely go on.

It’s lucky then, that there are people who are standing firm, including the government in Delhi, who have asserted that "Nobody would be allowed to dictate terms to us". And while Shane Warne said he might reconsider playing this year’s IPL, Andrew Symonds has shown some confidence saying that he has no fear of coming to India and is gearing up for the 2010 season.

We should all look forward to a great year of sports in India, and let’s hope for a healthy dose of competition on the field between different countries, where at the end of the day the players can all shake hands and have some fun.

Contributed by Jeremy Veitch