Letter to BCF and ICSF

(2003 Web-site Archive)

The Astley & Tyldesley club wish to express how much they enjoyed staging the recent World Cycle Speedway Championships. We were delighted to receive teams and riders from across the globe and wish to express thanks to all who assisted and supported the weekend.

The Club members also wish to convey their considerable dismay and disgust at the level of ‘political refereeing’ that took place. Throughout the Championships, the two senior English referees Bob Prince and John Whiting, made numerous bad decisions which were invariably directed against Polish riders, including an excessive number of exclusions. It is difficult to come to any conclusion other than the two officials were determined to stop the progress of Polish riders and team in the Championships. In the Individual Final, Bob Prince appeared determined to ensure that Dave Hemsley won the event, as several contentious decisions all went in his favour. The Polish referee, Andrzej Latusek, should not escape criticism, as he made several bad decisions in favour of Polish riders in the Individual Qualifying Rounds.

We find it extremely distasteful that having invited our cycle speedway colleagues from other countries to visit our shores for these Championships, having worked hard to put on these Championships, that our visitors should be treated to such a shameful level of ‘political refereeing’. One fears for the future of international cycle speedway, not to mention the damage done to the sporting reputation of cycle speedway in England, as a result of this. We sincerely hope that the treatment meted out to our visitors does not result in them deciding not to return for future Championships.

We therefore request that the governing bodies involved take the appropriate courses of action to ensure that nobody is ever subjected again to the ugly and unacceptable face of ‘political refereeing’. This has no place in any sport.


Return to Home Page             Return to Archive 2003 Index