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Wed 11 Apr 2012 03:37 PM

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F1 must go ahead, says Bahrain football boss

Coach Peter Taylor says he hasn't seen many protests, plays down violence

F1 must go ahead, says Bahrain football boss
“I cannot see the point of calling it off,” he told the paper. (Getty Images)

The coach of Bahrain’s national football team has played down the impact of the Arab Spring in the Gulf state, claiming he hasn’t “witnessed many protests”.

Speaking to the UK’s the Telegraph newspaper, the former England international also urged organisers of this month’s Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain to go ahead with the event.

“I cannot see the point of calling it off,” he told the paper.

It will bring in more work and give people a lot of pleasure.There are problems here but I also fear more is made of them than they are.

"Personally I haven’t witnessed many protests. They tend to take place in the villages late at night, although I did see a policeman chasing a boy with tear gas,” he added.

Calls to postpone the F1 event have become increasingly vocal as violent unrest on the island continues.

Organisers summoned support for the troubled Formula One race on Tuesday and said a campaign for it to be cancelled was being driven by "armchair observers" and "extremist groups".

The Bahrain International Circuit produced witness statements from foreign observers, including two members of the Lotus team, and the British ambassador to the Gulf kingdom in defence of the April 22 race.

It said a briefing by the Lotus representatives had been sent to all 12 team principals on April 5 and ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, where a final decision is expected.

Bahrain, which has endured almost daily protests and unrest since an uprising against the government in February last year was bloodily suppressed, is due to follow on immediately after China.

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