Commonwealth Games Federation team happy with Delhi Games Village, not so happy with sporting facilities.
Officials and members of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) have inspected the venues for the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi in October 2010. They also took a tour of the Games Village.
The visit by delegates from 71 countries comes in the backdrop of widespread criticism that the construction of the facilities are going on at a slow pace.
The general assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation is being held in New Delhi next week.
The media was denied access to the delegates while they were taken by the local organisers on a tour of the stadiums and the Games Village. There was tight security, and the delegates were always surrounded by the officials and volunteers of the Organising Committee.
However, the local organisers later issued a statement, which included remarks from many of the visitors who praised the facilities and venues they inspected.
A month ago, Michael Fennell, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, had said that he was “extremely worried” about preparations for the Games, adding that there was a “serious risk” that the facilities “would not live up to the organisational standards” of the two previous Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in England and Melbourne in Australia.
Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi, claimed that the delegates of the Commonwealth Games Federation were “happy” and “impressed” with the facilities being built for the 2010 Delhi Games.
She told reporters that the members of the inspecting team had their doubts cleared with the Organising Committee as also with the Delhi Government.
After the visit, at a presentation arranged by the local organisers, a few of the delegates did make adverse remarks about what they saw. While one delegate commented that New Delhi’s preparedness was “not up to scratch,” another team member, from the British Virgin Islands, said that thought the preparations were progressing at a fast pace, there is a lot more that needs to be done.
When asked by a reporter if everything was going on in the positive direction, Michael Fennell, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, was not very forthcoming. Fennell just said that the day was a busy one and that he did not wish to make any further comments as “we are not two sides. “It is a process,” he added,” and “everyone is trying to make it work for the 2010 Games.”
Fennell said the delegates will make a statement after visiting all the venues and facilities.
It seems that the slow speed of the work was what worried the visiting delegates most, and many of them wanted to know how long it would take for all the sporting venues to be all set.
However, almost all the delegates were happy with the Commonwealth Games Village, and some of them praised that the Village for the Delhi Games would turn out to be one of the best Games Villages in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
The visiting team was also happy with the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the Indira Gandhi Stadium and the Thyagraj Stadium.
The delegates also paid a visit to the National Stadium, the S P Mukherjee Aquatics Pool (this venue is one project that is progressing at a slow pace), and the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.
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