Friday 29 May, 2020

MP: Sport Minister lied to the country

Sport Minister Darryl Smith is being accused of misleading the country on the attendance and participation of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

In a statement on Wednesday, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath who recently raised issues in the Parliament over the safety of the facility, said the Minister lied about the Indian cricket legend’s attendance and participation in a friendly match to mark the long-awaited stadium’s opening, carded for May 13.  

Smith at a Post Cabinet media briefing on April 20 announced that Tendulkar would be part of the opening, playing a match which would be televised worldwide.

Padarath called on citizens to boycott the event until structural and engineering problems – the existence of which Smith denies - are addressed.

Only last week, the MP expressed the view that government was using Tendulkar in an attempt to “sanitise” the stadium from its “history of scandal”.  

Following the news that the cricket legend had not confirmed attendance at the opening, however, the MP said he was pleased that Tendulkar would not “sully his good name by attending or playing at the stadium”.

The Princes Town MP accused the Minister of Sport of purposely lying to the national population about Tendulkar's visit as part of a public relations campaign to get locals to buy into attending the opening ceremony.

Padarath announced his intention to again raise a motion in Parliament regarding the safety of the stadium, as he said neither the Minister, nor UDECOTT has addressed his concerns over the welds to the stadium, which he said failed two sets of independent testing’s prior to 2010 and is contained in the UFF Commission of Inquiry.

He also called on the Sport Minister to “come clean” regarding the seemingly abrupt resignation of the Chairman of the Sport Company, Michael Phillips and provide an explanation to the population regarding newspaper reports of allegations of Phillips resigning over a disagreement with Smith respect to the award of a contract.

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