MotoGP World Championships race is labelled as the 'Grand Prix of Bharat'.
Motorcycle racing event MotoGP has issued an apology after it showed a distorted map of India, which excluded the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, during the live-streaming of its broadcast on Friday. The official handle of the sports league took to X, formerly Twitter, to post the apology and stated that it was "never our intent to make any statement other than that of support and appreciation for our host country".
"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 loving our first taste of Buddh International Circuit," the statement posted on MotoGP's handle said.
The image of the distorted map created a controversy on social media with many users demanding accountability from the international racing league. Some users have also called for a boycott of the three-day event.
"The MotoGP event that is going to be held in Noida has displayed a distorted India map and displayed it w/o J&K. U r goin to conduct an event in the country w/o respecting its integrity. Shame on Moto," said a user.
"Dorna has tried its best to make Bharat and the race look great to the international audience to then blow it all away by showing a map of the country excluding Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, alienating the local fans and causing a call for boycott. Great job," added another user.
The MotoGP World Championships race, labelled as the 'Grand Prix of Bharat', is being organised at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida from September 22 to 24, 2023. The top bike racers from across the world have arrived in India for the 13th race of the 2023 MotoGP season.
This is the first time India is hosting such an event since the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, which was dropped from the calendar after the 2013 season due to financial, taxation and bureaucratic issues.
According to news agency PTI, Uttar Pradesh government released a fund of Rs 8 crore to its department 'Invest UP' for the MotoGP after a proposal from Fairsreet Sports, according to an official statement of the local Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority.