Commonwealth Games To India The Biggest Mistake: Australia




Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games

Australian Olympic Committee Chairman John Coates on Friday said India should never have been given the hosting rights of the Commonwealth Games given the nasty level of preparations that have hindered the usually smooth process of build-up to the Games.

“In hindsight, no, they shouldn’t have been awarded the Games,” Coates was quoted as saying by ‘The Australian Associated Press’. Delhi is racing against time to be ready for the Games after several missed deadlines and allegations of inefficiency and corruption against the organizers severely affected its image as an international sporting venue.

On Thursday, the BBC obtained pictures showing flooding, leaking toilets, filthy bathrooms, incomplete apartments and paw prints on beds in the athletes’ village. Delhi Games organizers have drafted in staff from the city’s five-star hotels to help the last-minute scramble to get the accommodation ready for the International athletes.

Mr. Coates said the Commonwealth Games Federation could have been more actively involved in the preparations. “The problem is that the CWG Federation is under-resourced. It doesn’t have the ability to monitor the progress of cities in the way the Olympic Committee does,” he said.

Mr. Coates stated that had the International Olympic Committee been involved, the work would have been monitored better. “If that had been the case here in Delhi, then certainly something would have been done a lot sooner because obviously the venue is not ready,” he said.

The build-up to the event has suffered by construction delays, corruption scandals, a dengue outbreak, collapse of a footbridge near the main stadium and security fears after Sunday’s shooting of two tourists outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid mosque showing Delhi security’s preparedness.

You can’t ever cut slack when your focus should be on the best conditions for the athletes,” he added. But Mr. Coates refused to say whether the other participating nations should pull out of the Games, which are already short of star power after several high-profile withdrawals such as Usain Bolt, Chris Hoy & Asafa Powell.

“I’m certainly not going to be drawn into making a comment on whether Australia and other countries should pull out from this part of the world,” he said. England has become the first overseas team to reach Delhi, but other nations have delayed their arrivals.

A New Zealand cyclist is the ninth athlete to pull out because of health and safety fears. But it is claimed that Australia is likely to participate considering the love for sports the country has.

Greg Henderson, who has won four medals at previous Games, cancelled on Friday, citing concerns over the state of facilities – a day after four British cyclists withdrew from the competition. New Zealand and Canada have delayed their arrival.

Friday was supposed to be the day when the first of 7,000 plus athletes began arriving in Delhi. Ticket sales have been low, and the cost of hosting the largest sporting event in India’s history has soared. It has become most expensive Commonwealth Games so far, with estimates ranging up to more than $10 billion

By: Devesh D. Bhuwad

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