MotoGP apologised to Indian fans Friday for displaying a map of the country without Kashmir — which is disputed with Pakistan — on its live stream of a practice session.
India’s territorial integrity is a touchstone issue to the ruling Hindu national Bharatiya Janata Party and its supporters.
New Delhi controls most of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but it is divided between India and Pakistan, with both countries claiming it in full and fighting two wars over the Himalayan territory.
The premier global motorbike competition is holding its first-ever race in India to tap into a growing two-wheeler market in the world’s most populous nation and fifth-biggest economy.
Angry fans took to social media and demanded redress when MotoGP showed a map of India without any part of the Jammu and Kashmir region on their live feed.
MotoGP soon posted an apology on social media.
“We’d like to apologise to our fans in India for the map shown earlier as part of the MotoGP broadcast,” the statement read.
“It is never our intent to make any statement other than that of support and appreciation for our host country,” it added.
Maps can be a sensitive issue in India — New Delhi’s own depictions incorporate the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, including the area controlled by Pakistan.