Commonwealth Games village is filthy, says Mike Hooper

CEO of Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Hooper expressed disappointment over the state of cleanliness at the Games Village here, calling the conditions "filthy".

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2010, 17:28 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a scathing attack on the Commonwealth Games Organising Committed led by Suresh Kalmadi, CEO of Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Hooper expressed disappointment over the state of cleanliness at the Games Village here, calling the conditions "filthy".

"We have emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of cleanliness," he said, "We are disappointed to find ourselves in this situation with just two days to go (for athletes to start arriving)."

He reiterated that he stood by his earlier appreciation of the international zone, including the main dining hall, at the Village complex. But cleanliness, he said, was a different issue.

Hooper said the CGF was given promises that everything would be set right by Sunday. "There was some progress, certainly insufficient to satisfy the majority."

He said the CGF had now sought the direct intervention of the Indian government so as to provide maximum resources to fix the problems.

"Hopefully that will happen... I was very pleased to hear that the Cabinet Secretary was at the Village himself this morning... He has has taken the matter very seriously, because it is serious."

The Commonwealth Games begin here Oct 3, and athletes will start arriving in just two days.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell had expressed concerns over the Games Village preparation, saying that the condition of the residential zone there has "shocked" many contingents.

"The condition of the residential zone has shocked the majority," Fennell had written in a letter to Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekar.

Moreover, Fennel had set a 24-hour deadline for the Delhi Government to get their act together.

With just 12 days to go for the sporting extravaganza, the Federation chief has expressed doubts over the state of the Games village which he said has been "seriously compromised".

"The Village is the cornerstone of any Games and the athletes deserve the best possible environment to prepare for their competition."

Fennel`s comments came after New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland have objected strongly to the condition of the accommodation given to them in the Village.

According to sources, Scotland Yard claimed to have captured some pictures of a stray dog sleeping on a bed meant for the players. This has further irked them over the casual attitude towards the security preparations.

The contingent had said that the living conditions "unlivable" and had asked the Games organising committee to put their officials and athletes in hotels if they could not set apartments right.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie, who is in New Delhi ahead of his team`s arrival, had said large sections of the village were still not ready with the clock ticking to its official opening on Thursday.

"The way things are looking, it`s not up to scratch," he had told New Zealand commercial radio.

"The reality is that if the village is not ready and athletes can`t come, the implications are that it`s not going to happen," Currie had said, referring to the Games as a whole.

The official had said his athletes had been allocated new accommodation within the village after inspections found their original tower block was unacceptable due to uncleanliness and poor facilities.

Prime Minister John Key had said it was pointless sending athletes to the Commonwealth Games if they faced health and sanitation issues in the village.