CGF slams Delhi LOC

CGF meeting: Delhi’s preparation under fire

Sports Reporter

CGF President expects IOA to straighten out the issues as soon as possible
CGF members visited the Army Sports Institute, Pune

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games have come under critical observations of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

“A number of critical issues are yet to be answered, the most important being appointment of senior officials who would be responsible for the organisation till the end of the Games,” said the CGF President, Mike Fennell on Wednesday.

At the end of an apparently stormy CGF executive board meeting here on Wednesday, Mr. Fennell said that though the delay was nothing strange to the CGF since it had happened in many other Games, he expected the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to straighten out the issues as soon as possible.

Mr. Fennell said that the CGF coordination committee would make its first visit here in November to access New Delhi’s preparations. He, however, said that the role of the coordination committee was not to find fault, but to assist the host organising committee.

“We have had the best games ever in Melbourne this March. Melbourne did the best in all departments and we hope that New Delhi lives up to the expectations,” Mr. Fennell said.

To a pointed question regarding the Government-appointed apex committee headed by the Union Sports Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Mr. Fennell said: “we (CGF) only know that there is only one organising committee. Our contract is with the IOA and what we understand about the apex committee is that it is a multi-disciplinary government body to support the organisation of the games.”

Asked about Aiyar’s reservations about the budget of the Games that has crossed over Rs. 5,000 crore, Kalmadi said that organising committee’s budget had remained same since the time it won the bid to host the games. “Organising Committee needs Rs. 900 crore for organisation and Rs. 300 crore for training of sportspersons. Rest is to be spent by the Delhi Government, the Sports Authority of India and the Delhi Development Authority to bring up various infrastructure for the games,” said Kalmadi.

The CGF executive board meeting also attended by its vice-president, Tunku Imran, and chief executive officer, Mike Hooper, besides the IOA president and the chairman of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi and others, also approved Pune as the venue for the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Pune will host the youth games from October 12 to 18, 2008, in six disciplines, athletics, badminton, boxing, tennis, shooting and weightlifting.

The CGF has proposed addition of swimming to the programme while the Pune organising committee wants wrestling and table tennis. The three extra disciplines will be finalised at the CGF board meeting in Kuala Lumpur, in November this year.

The CGF members visited the Army Sports Institute, Pune, on Tuesday to oversee the venues meant for the youth games. “We are pretty satisfied with what we were shown,” said Fennell. Apparently, the youth games will be held at various other venues including the Balewadi Sports Village, which hosted the 1994 National Games. The facilities at Balewadi are in a shambles now, but Kalmadi said “we will be in ship shape by 2008.”