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CGF CEO Hooper Blames India For Commonwealth Games Chaos

WELLINGTON: Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper denied Sunday his organisation was partly to blame for problems in the lead-up to the Delhi Games and said the fault lay with India. Hooper, a New
PTI September 26, 2010 13:43 IST
PTI
WELLINGTON: Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper denied Sunday his organisation was partly to blame for problems in the lead-up to the Delhi Games and said the fault lay with India.

Hooper, a New Zealander, told Television New Zealand that while the federation was the supreme authority and pushed for deadlines to be met, it was powerless to get projects completed on time, with the event just a week away.

"At the end of the day, I'm not a construction engineer. I'm not a builder. 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."

These groups had consistently failed to meet deadlines, Hooper said of what the Indian media has dubbed the "Shame Games".

"Renewed deadlines came and went. New reasons for delays kept coming up. Absolutely exasperation from our perspective," he said.

But Barry Maister, secretary-general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, which is responsible for the Commonwealth Games team, said the Games federation "has a lot to answer for" with regard to the state of the athletes' village.

"It was their job to ensure the village was ready for habitation. In my view they did not do so," he said after visiting the village last week.

However, Hooper said all competing nations had been kept aware of issues that needed to be resolved and it was exasperating that despite "constant cajoling", venues were in a rush to be completed.

"The very frustrating thing is we have consistently spoken out loudly and clearly, consistent in our reporting: 'Get these things done. Get these venues delivered. Focus on the operational delivery of the Games.'

"And unfortunately, we are where we are. Now, we can all do these post-mortems later. The reality is right now we need to focus on getting as much as we can done."