Taekwondo federation of India cancels friendship match with Pakistan

December 15th, 2008 - 6:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Lucknow, Dec 15 (ANI): Taekwondo Federation of India (TFI) has cancelled invitation to Pakistan team for a friendship match that was to be held in Lucknow from December 19-21 in the wake of last months Mumbai terror attacks.

The championship will now be held among the teams from Nepal, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Korea on the same dates.

TFI had planned a second International Goodwill Taekwondo championship between India and Pakistan with an endeavour to strengthen sports relations between the two nations.

But following Indian governments accusations of a Pakistani link to the recent terror attacks on Mumbai, the TFI and the organizing committee in Lucknow called off the invitation.

“We had planned to organize Indo-Pakistan friendship match to improve the relations. The decision was taken four months back. But now we saw that the condition is getting worst day-by-day and especially after the recent Mumbai blasts so we decided to cancel the invitation. Now we have made it as the second international tournament in which we have invited countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Korea,” said Jimmy R. Jagtiani, founder manager of TFI.

The players as well as the coach, who are practicing hard for the upcoming championship, want to spread the message of unity across the country to fight terrorism.

“The Mumbai incident has shocked the entire world. So all players want to spread this message that like the way we have jointly refused their visit, other federations should also do the same. So that Pakistan should know that how much united Indian citizens are,” said Javed Khan, a Taekwondo coach.

The players also said that Pakistan has always betrayed India’’s hand of friendship.

“We have always extended our hand for friendship but they have always betrayed us. So now federation has refused them so we are entirely with the federation,” said Mohammad Umar, national level Taekwondo player. (ANI)

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