Chaotic Scenes at Madrid Championships
Written by Badminton News
Saturday, 23 September 2006 17:00
Madrid's ability to organise major sporting events has been thrown into question after chaotic scenes on the penultimate day of the world badminton championships on Saturday.
Spectators and members of the international media complained about the failure of organisers to allow people to enter the installations until a few minutes before matches were scheduled to start.
Live television and radio broadcasters were left standing in the street and unable to set up their equipment, while while security staff man-handled journalists who voiced complaints about their behaviour.
One photographer was grabbed by the throat by security staff as he tried to enter the building.
"It's the same as when the championships were held in Seville in 2001, the people here don't seem to be able to handle big events like this," International Badminton Federation reporter Raphael Sachetat told Reuters.
"Their behaviour will damage the attempts to promote badminton here and this could affect the city's ability to hold events like the 2016 Olympics. They are shooting themselves in the foot."
Journalists from Asian countries were particularly critical of the decision to allow Madrid to stage the event.
"They should never have been allowed to hold the world championships, they know nothing about badminton" Loganath Velloo of Malaysia's Star newspaper said.
"There has been a total breakdown in communications and security staff have been extremely rude to everyone. They have been very inconsiderate."
Players and coaches have voiced concerns about organisational glitches, with players being denied entry to the Palacio de Deportes, changes in match scheduling to suit local television operators and the low numbers of spectators.
Madrid was given the world championships in order to promote their bid for the 2012 Olympics, but the lost out to eventual winners London.
The city's local authorities have said they will bid once again for the 2016 Games.