New Delhi: Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell on Thursday said that reports of corruption in the Delhi Commonwealth Games were a cause for concern and should be properly investigated.
Fennell said that the CGF has left it on the Indian authorities to investigate the charges of financial
irregularities that have rocked the Organising Committee.
After completing a whirlwind tour of the venues, Fennell
said he was happy with the overall preparations but wanted the
organisers to speed up work on finer details like landscaping
and cleaning. He specifically mentioned the work at the Games
Village being behind schedule.
"The intention and objective of this visit was to take a
further look at the venues. There has been reporting of
corruption. It has been of great concern for CGF," Fennell
told a packed press conference here.
"From the CGF`s point of views, we have not been
associated with any corruption anywhere and we feel it needs
to be throughly investigated by the Indian authorities. We
have encouraged all government authorities to conduct
inquiry," he said.
Fennell said concerns such as congested traffic and
cleanliness are not unique for a city which is hosting a
multi-sports event for the first time in decades.
"My visit was to look at all the venues. We have been
concerned about some of the venues. We wanted to see how much
is complete. I visited all the venues and I am very satisfied
to tell you that by and large all venues for practical
purposes are complete," he said.
"There is some remedial work to be done but this is not
new for new buildings and this would be completed in some
"We are concerned that some detail work has to be done,
We went through some detail work and have told the
authorities. The outside appearance, landscaping an cleaning
of venues will have to done urgently," he added.
Fennell emphasised the need to spruce up the venues at
the earliest, specifically the Games Village which would be
thrown open to international athletes by mid-September.
"The image of the Games to the general public would be
decided by the look of these venues. When all this is done and
the finishing touches are given at all the venues, we will
have world class venues here. We will have a rich legacy of
venues once the Games are over," he said.
"I also went to the Games Village, we regard this as the
heart of the Games and we have to ensure that the welfare of
the athletes is taken care of there. We feel some of the
buildings could have been finished much better but they are
still very good," Fennell added.
The CGF boss said hygiene at the Village is a major
"We have seen the dining room, kitchen, shops and other
facilities for the Games. The work needs to be accelerated. It
is a large amount of work to be done. We will have to make
sure that the food served is of the highest standard because
the athletes would have to be given the best standard of
hygiene," he explained.
"There is a need to address the roads, the landscape and
the cleaning of the village. These need to be addressed with
urgency, we don`t have much time left. Buildings alone don`t
make the village, it`s the management and the food which will
ensure that the village is what we want it to be," he added.
"We have to ensure hygiene. We would pay special
attention to water and have been assured that all this would
be taken care of."
Also in the list of Fennell`s concerns is the scoring
equipment which has still not been installed at the Games
"We looked particularly at technology for timing and
scoring system which is not yet ready. We want it to be
monitored carefully because the equipment is coming from
outside, some of it from the Singapore Youth Olympics," he
Having had a tough time negotiating the Delhi traffic
himself, Fennell hoped that the promised designated lanes for
the athletes would be put in use efficiently.
"We were concerned about transport but we have been
reassured by the buses that are available for athletes,
technical officials and other officials.”
"We continue to be concerned about traffic because the
traffic in Delhi is congested. We have been told there would
be specific lanes. Hopefully with the cooperation of everybody
it will be a win-win situation," he said.
Fennell gave a thumbs up to the security set-up for the
Games and said, "We leave with comfort that the planning of
security is top-class. We have the security for Delhi, the
Games, operations and venues."
For a man who had been vocal about his discontent with
the arrangements until just a few months ago, Fennell said he
leaves relieved this time and even criticised what he called
"inaccurate" reports in the media.
"I leave Delhi with reassurance. There is a tremendous
amount of detail work to be done but this is not new to Delhi.
I have charged the Organising Committee to continue the work
and cover the details," he said.
"We have come to the last lap of a marathon that started
six and a half years ago but this last lap is the most
"We must not give attention to frivolous and inaccurate
reports. I end by making a reminder, these Games are Games
which will reflect on all of us. So, let us ensure that we
report accurately and honestly," he added.
Fennell said the Games have given India a chance to
emerge as a sporting powerhouse.
"I think India has a fantastic opportunity to grow by
light years in sports. It is upto you to use these facilities
after the Games," he said.
"This city needed construction because all your venues
were 20 years old. But there is one assurance that we will be
ready. The concerns are there and they would be there right
till the opening ceremony but we just have to ensure that we
are on top of it," he added.