A controversy erupted at the Indian MotoGP 2023, also known as MotoGP Bharat, on Friday when a distorted, incorrect map of India was shown during the live telecast of the opening practice session at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The map displayed did not include the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which caused an uproar online. (Full Indian MotoGP 2023 Coverage, More Sports News)
The organisers immediately took up the issue with the international organiser and commercial rights holder Dorna Sports, following which they came up with an apology and also showed the correct map in the subsequent practice session.
In a statement apologising for the error, the MotoGP organizers said: “We'd like to apologise to our fans in India for the map shown earlier as part of the MotoGP broadcast. It is never our intent to make any statement other than that of support and appreciation for our host country."
"We're excited to be able to enjoy the IndianOil Grand Prix of India with you and we're with you and we're loving our first taste of Buddh International Circuit," the statement added.
The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), which is the governing body of the sport in India, also reacted.
FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim said in a statement: “It is highly regrettable that an erroneous map of India was broadcast by MotoGP TV today during the telecast of IndianOil Grand Prix of India. We are aware that MotoGP have issued a public apology. The FMSCI advises its motorsports affiliates to be extremely careful and correct on the depiction of the India map and Indian tricolour.”
Meanwhile, action continues at the marquee two-wheeler racing event. After Friday’s practice sessions, Saturday will see another practice session, qualifying and a sprint race while Sunday will host the main race.