New Delhi, (IANS) The Indian government Friday hit back at Italian Formula 1 team Ferrari’s decision to pay tribute to two Italian Navy Marines, who are facing trial in Kerala for shooting two Indian fishermen in India’s territorial waters.
Ferrari will be sporting the logos of the Italian Navy on its two cars for the Sunday race as mark of respect to the two marines.
But it hasn’t gone down well with the Indian government.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin in a statement said: “Using sporting events to promote causes which are not of a sporting nature is not in keeping with the spirit of any sport.”
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also distanced himself from the flag row, saying the national association should look into such “political matters”.
“What we’d do, we’d look at the national sporting authority (FMSCI) here to have a look at that…we are not political,” Ecclestone said at the Buddh International Circuit here Friday.
But Ferrari has justified its decision to carry the flag of the Italian Navy on its two cars.
“Scuderia Ferrari will carry the flag of the Italian Navy on the cars driven by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix. In doing so, Ferrari pays tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country, also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy,” Ferrari said on its website.