NEW DELHI, Sept 26 � Just as things were beginning to look up for the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games, a spate of pullouts, more complaints about the athletes� village and the continuous negative publicity added to the hassled organisers� woes just one week before the mega-event, reports PTI.
Although there was no serious threat of any contingent pulling out, the Games Village, where cleaning up operations have been going virtually round the clock, came in for fresh criticism with Malaysia and Botswana complaining about the poor state of the residential blocks.
To compound the misery for the organisers, female Scottish tennis star Elena Baltacha, ranked 50th in the world, pulled out along with Australian cyclist Travis Meyer, table tennis player Stephanie Sang and Malaysian sprinter Siti Zubaidah Adabi citing health and security concerns.
A day after Commonwealth Games Federation boss Mike Fennell spoke about sharing the blame for Delhi�s under-preparedness, its CEO Mike Hooper sang a different tune saying the CGF cannot be held responsible for the Organising Committee�s failure to meet deadlines.
Launching a fresh offensive against OC, with which he has had a strained equation, Hooper said even the government agencies in India did not act in time and delayed the handing over of the venues.
�We�re at the hands and the mercy of, effectively, the government of India, the Delhi government, the agencies responsible for delivery of the venues. They consistently failed to meet deadlines,� he said.
However, Hooper�s outburst did not go down well with the OC or the government which called the attack completely unacceptable. The New Zealander has been in the country for the last three years to oversee the event.
There was some good news as well with England�s delegation checking in at the Village to do the groundwork for their athletes� arrival tomorrow.