President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Michael Fennel has, in a letter to the cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekar, expressed his concern over the preparation of the Games Village.
Fennel has stated that the condition of the Village has shocked the majority of the representatives of the contingents who will be coming for the Commonwealth Games.
The Village is the residential area of the Games, where participants are housed. Remarking that the place of stay is an important factor in determining the condition and performance of the players, Fennel says that what they saw is not the best possible environment for the players to be in. Countries like Canada, Scotland, New Zealand and Ireland have objected to the conditions of the accommodation that they witnessed at the Village.
There are only 12 more days left for the commencement of the Games and the Federation President says that the state of the Village has been seriously compromised. Calling the living conditions ‘unlivable’, the contingent has asked the organizing committee of the Games that the athletes be accommodated in hotels if their apartments at the village were not up to standard.
A report in a New Zealand newspaper says that the apartment conditions at the Village were dirty and unhealthy, and that big portions of the Village were still unfinished at this late hour. The official inspecting the arrangements ahead of the New Zealand team’s arrival warns that if the Village is not ready to house the athletes in time, the implications are that the event will not take place. He also said that athletes from New Zealand had been given accommodation at another section after the inspection revealed that the block they had originally been assigned was unacceptable due to the poor facilities and uncleanliness. Government officials in New Zealand have responded to this new turn of events by saying that it would be pointless to send athletes to the Games if they would have to face health and sanitation issues there.
Adding to this serious issue is the concern that most contingents have been expressing over security issues, especially after a gun attack took place last week outside New Delhi’s largest mosque left two Taiwanese nationals wounded. Thousands of foreign athletes will be competing at the Commonwealth Games, and international security experts are being enlisted by countries to get advice on safety measures as well as other details while participating in the Games.
Unless the Village is completed and handed over, the experts cannot carry out proper security checks. The Indian organizers have been insisting that every precaution will be taken to ensure that the Games are safe. As per the schedule, 200 athletes from New Zealand are to arrive in India from Saturday.
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