Fears Grow Over Preparations for Commonwealth Games

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Sept. 22 – The Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell has been quoted in The Times of India as saying that he would seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to try and save the Games from becoming a fiasco.

Fennell sent a letter to the executive board of the organizing committee saying that the event may not be at par with the past Games. “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,” Fennell wrote in the letter.

Comptroller and Auditor General reported that of the 19 sporting venues, 13 venues had a work shortfall of between 25 percent and 50 percent. India has allocated US$325 million for the event, which ranks as the third biggest sports event in the world after the Summer Olympics and the World Cup Soccer Finals.

Fennell is asking for a change in the management and operation of the organizing committee without which “The games will fail from an operational perspective. The vast majority of functional areas are considerably behind schedule, the procurement processes within the Organizing Committee are stagnant and the lack of empowerment of functional area management is retarding process. ”

He added: “Whilst there’s no doubting the commitment of the various stakeholders involved in the delivery of the Games, our main concern relates to the capacity of the OC to deliver operationally, as I said at the board meeting the preparations for the Games are significantly behind, so much so, that the CGF is extremely worried about the OC’s ability to deliver the Games to any comparable standard to that of the last two editions.”

The hosting of a successful Games is of paramount importance to India as comparisons with the highly successful 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are certain to be made. India’s reputation as a destination for business and getting things done rests of the success of the Games.

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