Controversy on Anand`s citizenship disappointing: Bindra

New Delhi: Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra termed the row over Vishwanathan Anand`s citizenship as "disappointing" and said the World chess champion should get the respect he deserves.

"Obviously what has happened is very disappointing. He is a big hero. I don`t exactly know the details but he must get all the respect," Bindra told reporters here.

A move to confer an honorary doctorate on Anand by the University of Hyderabad was today embroiled in controversy with the Union Human Resource Development Ministry raising doubts over his nationality as he holds an Indian passport but lives in Spain.

The HRD Minister Kapil Sibal spoke to Anand and is understood to have urged him to accept the award. The University of Hyderabad then decided to confer the doctorate to Anand on a later date.

Sibal also apologised to Anand and made it clear that his nationality was never questioned by the ministry.

"I told him that the honorary degree could be conferred today itself. He indicated to me that he had some problem about this evening. Then I told him any date of his convenience for the function was okay. He has accepted it," Sibal told a press conference.