CWG 2010: Federation chief seeks PM`s intervention

New Delhi: Miffed with the capital`s tardy preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, CGF President Michael Fennel has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s intervention to put things in order.

With barely a year to go for the October 3-14 event,
Fennell has shot a letter to the Organising Committee of Delhi
Games, saying he has asked Indian Olympic Association chief
Suresh Kalmadi to arrange next month a meeting with the Prime
Minister.

"With only a year to run until the Games, I feel I must
personally brief the Prime Minister of India on the lack of
preparations and to seek his input in developing an
appropriate recovery plan," wrote a furious Fennell.

"As you know, I have asked the Chairman of the Organising
Committee to facilitate such a meeting on my return to Delhi
in early October for our General Assembly," he said.

"I am looking forward to some urgent actions in order to
bring about the successful celebration of the Games in 2010,"
Fennell wrote.

Fennells` fear was substantiated by a CGF Coordination
Commission report which predicted partial failure of the
Games.

"Given it is 27 years since India hosted an international
multi-sport event, why is there such a reluctance to recruit
experience from overseas?" the report said.

The Commission said if CGF did not intervene, the Games
was bound to see particla failure.

"The Coordination Commission is of the view that Games`
failure in part is now likely should the CGF not intervene...
It is reasonable to further conclude that the current
situation poses a serious risk to the Commonwealth Games in
2010, the Commonwealth Games brand and the image of the CGF,"
the report had said.

Fennell, in his letter, stated that reality was the
Federation had consistently expressed serious concerns to the
Organising Committee on preparations for the Games.

"The Government of India has committed significant
resources towards the operational delivery of the Games (1,620
crores) and as I said at the meeting it would be irresponsible
and negligent of the Federation not to share its concerns
openly with the Government."

The CGF chief also said he was "extremely worried" about
the Organising Committee`s capability to deliver a successful
Games, as it was promised.

"Our main concern relates to capacity of the Organising
Committee to deliver operationally, as I said at the Board
meeting preparations for the Games are significantly behind,"
the letter said.

"The Commonwealth Games Federation is extremely worried
about the Organising Committee`s ability to deliver the Games
to any comparable standard to that of the last two editions of
the Games in Manchester and Melbourne," it added.

"Our concerns are such that unless there is significant
change in the management culture and operation of the
Organising Committee these Games will fail from an operational
perspective," it added.

"The procurement processes within the Committee are
stagnant and lack of empowerment of functional area management
is retarding progress. Report of our Coordination Commission
highlights a range of areas that need addressing... The only
way to address matters going forward is to openly share
information and concerns both amongst ourselves as Board
Members and with our key stakeholders," the letter said.

Bureau Report