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Fennell shares blame for CWG mess

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Sept 25 � Sharing the blame for the shoddy preparations for the Commonwealth Games, CGF boss Mike Fennell today said considerable work has been done but it has to be sustained over the next eight days to make the troubled event a success, reports PTI.

Rounding up an emergency stock-taking trip, during which he inspected the much-criticised Games Village, Fennell said it was not the time to indulge in a blame-game but so much of work should not have been left for the last lap.

�The massive work that is being done now ought to

have been done earlier,� said Fennell.

With the sun shining for the second successive day, the mood among the top OC officials also brightened up as they took journalists and Heads of Mission on a conducted tour of the Village, dubbed filthy by international delegates some days ago, in an apparent damage-control exercise.

Ending days of uncertainty over international participants, Fennell also brought some much-needed good news for the beleaguered organisers by announcing that �there would be full participation in the Games.�

The spate of individual pullouts also slowed down a bit with just a British diver � Peter Waterfield � announcing his withdrawal.

But the highlight of the day was Fennell�s press conference where he spoke of his disappointment at India�s failure to complete the preparations in time and of how it would dent the country�s image.

�We all have to share the blame and responsibility. In any Games, there are a number of stakeholders, overall we have to ensure that we do everything to conduct the Games,� Fennell said.

But despite the controversy-marred build-up, Fennell asserted that calling off the Games �was never� on Commonwealth Games Federation�s (CGF) agenda.

Flanked by embattled Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, Fennell said both India and the Commonwealth can learn a lesson from the shortcomings in organising the 19th edition of the Games.

�Other Games have had problems and I believe that here also the problems would be sorted. A number of issues should have been and could have been avoided and that necessary corrective steps should be taken in good time,� he added.

�A lot of damage has been done to India, which is the largest Commonwealth country. We need to learn lessons for hosting other events as well,� Fennell said.

Asked whether he felt let down by India, which won the hosting rights way back in 2003 but is in a desperate race against time to finish off the work, Fennell said, �We are disappointed in a number of things.�

Kalmadi, who has been under a fresh attack since the collapse of a foot over-bridge near the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, admitted that he had to take a part of the blame for the current crisis.

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