UK Minister to take up racism with OZ counterpart

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Deciding not to take it lying down, UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn today announced that he would get in touch with his Australian counterpart to talk about the racial abuse hurled at Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen Down Under.

Asserting that racial abuse has no place in any game, Mr Carbon said, ''This is totally unacceptable and I'll talk to my colleague in Australia about the incident.'' In the capital with a business delegation that will meet all the stakeholders of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the capital and offer its expertise, Mr Caborn is also expected to sign a MoU with his Indian counterpart Mani Shankar Aiyar later today.

Reacting to the racial abuse in Australia, the British minister said football's governing body has been largely successful in stamping out the menace and cricket administrators would do well to take a leaf out of FIFA's book.

''In football, FIFA has been largely successful. There has been a number of red cards and a very big campaign to drive it out. I think that's where sports and politics come together to weed out the problem.

''All the authorities - political, sports and law enforcing - have to be at war (against racism). We have to systematically get rid of it,'' he explained.

Hostile Aussie crowd had called Monty a 'stupid Indian' while Pietersen was not spared either.

Recalling England's experience with the menace that plagued soccer there, Mr Caborn said, ''In UK, we went through this problem, especially in football. But we worked with the football authorities - the managers, clubs and the players to solve the problem.

''I want people to say 'we are not going to tolerate this' and I know that needs lot of education. There is just no short cut. You need proper leadership and educate school children, clubs and the players. There were thousands of exclusion orders and we thus took the hooligan element out of soccer,' he explained.

Mr Caborn also admitted that Panesar's inclusion in the Test team has given England a look of a multi-ethnic side and citing Pakistani-born boxer Amir Khan, said, ''The same is being observed in other sports as well and that's great for England.'' Asked to predict the Ashes outcome, Mr Caborn said, ''Now that Marcus (Trescothick) is back and (Michael) Vaughan is not playing, it's a slightly weak side but I think we have the depth.

''Last time, after they lost the first match, I predicted that they would win the Ashes and they did. This time too I hope them to win and may my prediction comes true once again,'' he quipped.

Apart from the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the business delegation is also eyeing the 2011 Cricket World Cup, of which India is a key co-host and Mr Caborn said Delhi can easily benefit from England's rich experience of hosting world class event.

''Make no mistake, India is hosting 2010 Commonwealth Games, cricket World Cup in 2011 and bidding for 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Olympics. We have hosted the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and London is hosting 2012 Olympics. We are here to share our expertise and offer a wide range of service,'' the minister said.

Citing the example of Manchester, Mr Caborn said, ''You have to consider the spin-off of an event like the Commonwealth Games. When we hosted it, it was not just a three-week-sports event but also a powerful tool for economic regeneration and now Manchester is one of the leading cities in the UK.''


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