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Commonwealth Games risk damage with delay

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Gordon Farquhar | 15:25 UK time, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

There is no doubt in my mind that Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CWGF), wasn't exaggerating when he described the athletes' village in Delhi as a "major, significant problem".

He also doesn't think it's insurmountable, as long as massive resources are mobilised immediately to put things right.

The promise made by the organisers that Delhi would have the best athletes' village ever experienced at a Commonwealth Games is beginning to sound like an empty boast.


village.jpg

At the time of writing, Craig Hunter, the chef de mission of the England team, is trying to get his colleagues past security so they can continue the cleaning job they started themselves after seeing the state of their accommodation on arrival.

As though they don't have better things to do! And they're the lucky ones; New Zealand and Scotland demanded their allocated accommodation be moved, describing it as "unsafe and unfit for human habitation".

From the description of the piles of rubble, dust, plumbing and electrics not working, and human waste where it shouldn't have been, they weren't just being precious.

It's not just an epic clean-up that's required either. When the monsoons flared again, the England team made the unwelcome discovery that about quarter of their accommodation wasn't watertight.

I suspect that might take more than some bleach and a scrubbing brush to rectify.

There may be a temporary fix in moving people into accommodation that has been sorted out but that won't work unless the whole job's a good 'un within the next few days.

Not all the athletes arrive at once, which might be the competition's saving grace, while others will follow Aussie world champion discus thrower Dani Samuel's lead and actually decide not to bother at all, on the balance of what they've heard over the last few days.

While most voices continue to accentuate the positive, the ultimate negative is still lurking under the surface - the very prospect that the Games can't be staged at all.

I think that's unlikely at this point but it won't take much to tip things over. The leaders of the big teams - England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada - will be talking to each other, comparing notes, wondering how we got to this situation.

Each will be acutely aware that the Games have to fight for their place on the sporting calendar and for their relevance in the minds of the athletes, the international federations, the media, sponsors and the public.

I believe what is happening in Delhi weakens the CWGF's hand in that respect.

Reputational damage has been done, the extent of which remains to be seen, and the implications for Glasgow as hosts of 2014 are yet to be fully understood.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I do hope the BBC gets it's money back if major athletes or nations start pulling out.

    I'm pretty sure no-one wants to watch the 'best of the rest' competeing, knowing that the main athletes aren't there. We already have a situation in the cycling where the main stars have had to pull out, but this could easily spread to the other sports.

    The Commonwealth games are an already diluted spectacle, without losing even more of the 'stars'.

    The 'will they be ready' question has been asked many times over the last few months - and always the answer coming back was 'yes'.

    However it now appears this isn't the case.


  • Comment number 2.

    These "games" should be cancelled.

    India needs to ditch the Commonwealth and channel its resources in more fruitful causes like tackling poverty, corruption, pollution, improving cottage industry etc.

  • Comment number 3.

    To save the Commonwealth Games, I would suggest to the Queen to quickly transfer the venue to Singapore which has all facilities ready after the sucessful Youth Olympic Games.

  • Comment number 4.

    Write 1st of all i think this shouldn't be an attack on India as a host nation for a major sporting games , but i think the problems lay down to the commonwealth higher committee who have let things get to this stage , i think the commonwealth inspectors should have been on top the problems . This is my idea the games should not be canceled but should be split up into various countries for various sporting events ,but still using Delhi , i say the sevens rugby , hong kong , the boxing and weight lifting in Delhi , the sailing and rowing events in perth /sydney
    i no my ideas sound strange but the more this fiasco regarding athletes village continues and with bridges collapsing ,more and more top world class athletes will say no thanks iam not going

  • Comment number 5.

    India has spent crores of rupees to host the commonwealth. Firstly calling the games commonweatlh itself is discrimatory, after the horrendos rule by the british.

    Now, the british are jealous of the facilities and they resort to complaining. The british are world champions at complaining.

    The commonwealth games should be scrapped if any country fails to show up. Also, the drug detection system is high-tech and better than what was at China olympics.

    The athletes shying away are the ones most likely to get caught.

    Who cares if England or other countries do not show up. India is much richer than these countries. Indians should ignore these people.

  • Comment number 6.

    India is a wonderful country with an exceptional history portrayed by it's many historical architectural sites. Having worked there myself in the 1960's, and things , for sure,will have moved on since then,I would still advise all athletes to take care with their diets.

  • Comment number 7.

    'seanJohnDC'- If the Indian Olympic team turned up in 2012 to find their rooms unfinished and contaminated with 'human waste' do you think they would complain? Would this make them "world champions at complaining"? Interesting viewpoint.

  • Comment number 8.

    Lets hope when F1 arrives next year, it does not have the same issues. I am sure they can put on a good show....

  • Comment number 9.

    seanjohndc - The 2012 innfrastructure already looks more finished that the Delhi facilities so why would we be jealous.

  • Comment number 10.

    Unfortunately there is a disappointing history in the safety of sporting events hosted in India. Earlier this year during the Indian Premier League Cricket Tournament (which is certainly every Indians favourite sport) there was an attack at one of the matches held in Bangalore I think. I am not sure of how much Indians have embraced the prospect of hosting the commonwealths. It is very sad that India who are now considered to be one of the World's most rapidly developing countries have from what we have seen been unable to sufficiently organise the event. We all hope countries wishing to host other major sporting events will learn from this and that the Commonwealths are salvaged and maintain its credibility.

  • Comment number 11.

    The 2010 FIFA World feels like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? South Africa pulled the tournament out of the fire more than a year earlier? But in two weeks? Come now!

  • Comment number 12.

    For the Games' sake, for the athletes, but as much as all that for the sake of all of those Indians clearly anticipating the embarrassment of their country at the hands of corrupt officials, inadequate construction work and poor planning, call the Games off now. It is the right thing to do. The opening ceremony is planned for 3rd October; finishing, let alone rectifying the all too evident problems, can't be done in the time. Call the Games off.

  • Comment number 13.

    I agree with Dr Antonias Fuccilio. Do not discriminate against the Indian people for the spectacular failure of the Games' preparation. We in India are as much at the mercy of corrupt and selfish officials as the participating athletes are.
    It is a national shame and a disgrace to see the preparation in this state just a short time before the games begin. Those Indians who seek to defend the officials in charge are guilty of a misplaced sense of patriotism.
    What could we, as citizens, have done to prevent this? Not much, as officials have all the rights and the common man is helpless against them. No court would have been able to bring the guilty to justice because the courts themselves are not independent.
    Canceling the games would only rub salt in the wounds of the citizens. If by some rare organizational skill, the games can be saved, then let's hope and work towards that goal.
    Lastly, I would like to add that the comment by an official that 'Western Standards' of cleanliness are different from Indian standards is a complete disgrace, and a slap on the face of all Indians. In one sentence he has consigned us to a section of humanity that is OK with living in filth. Though our country in many places is not as clean as Westerners expect, it is not something we are content to live with, and we struggle with it everyday.

  • Comment number 14.

    @ seanJohnDC - You're serious?

    Do you not honestly believe that accommodation that is supposed to be 'World Class' is despite building materials littering the area, stray dogs strolling through, mud caking the lower levels due to light flooding, electrics and plumbing not functioning properly and on top of that human waste just lying around the facilities?

    I also find it quite insulting in one of the latest articles (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11385214%29 that it all 'apparently' comes down to the different standards of hygene between India and Western Nations. Whomever made that statement needs a good talking to because no matter how you sugar-coat it, excrement is still excrement. Meanwhile they 'forget' to explain why the facilities are still not finished despite the fact that teams are meant to be moving in on Thursday.

    The Commonwealth Games were meant to showcase India's strengths but right now with weeks to go until the games kick-off, all we are seeing is a giant mismanaged mess.

    I would not be surprised if more athletes decide to boycott the games, and to be perfectly honest, from what I have seen in regards to accommodation (and the now collapsed bridge) I would not blame them....

  • Comment number 15.

    Suggesting that the athletes are pulling out to avoid drug testing is offensive at best, libellous at worst. Whilst is might be easy to have a chip on your shoulder about your country's history with Britain, I would like to take the opportunity to point out that athletes from other nations are also complaining about the disgraceful state of their accomodation. This is not an attack upon the Indian people, but if you really are as rich as you might claim to be then it truly is pathetic that you haven't managed to afford to provide decent quality accomodation.

    Congratulations on reinforcing every negative stereotype about India that there is.

  • Comment number 16.

    If the Western countries don't take part in these CWGs or at the least a large number of the world quality competitors decline to participate then many Indians will be very unhappy and hurt at what they will consider an insulting and contemptious attitude towards India.
    Of course many will consider this another valid reason to not go.

  • Comment number 17.

    I often hear from Indians that their country's civilisation is 10,000 years old (pre dating even Egypt by a good few millenia), India landed men on the moon a few centuries before Christ was born, India invented martial arts, the country's space program is a step ahead of China, have the most advance armed forces, fastest growing economy, etc, etc. Indians can be fiercely proud and nationalistic people, if their people believe in all that above there is no reason why they cant host a Commonwealth Game better than the Beijing Olympics. Modesty about ones achievements in front of outsiders is something many Indians are not so good at. Exaggeration even if its means circumventing the truth is probably one of the biggest obstacal to India's development.
    The media in recent years has also been a culprit by bracketing India with China as the next superpower when the reality of the two economies couldnt be more different. India is one of the poorest country in the world and remains so in the foreseeable future. Perhaps the "comming out party" in a couple of weeks from now will showcase India what it really is?

  • Comment number 18.

    Dr Antonias Fuccilio "sevens rugby in Hong Kong" for the CWG. Yes your ideas does sound strange especially when Hong Kong hosted the dressage event for the Bejing Olympics.

  • Comment number 19.

    Having been to India earlier this year, to read what is happening doesn't surprise me. If India had been given 12 years to get the games facilities right they still wouldn't have completed it on time. The Indian way of working doesn't adhere to timetables; quite honestly I'm surprised they have got as far as they have.

    What India has done has damaged the Commonwealth Games to a point that it's made these games a farce, which is a shame because to many top quality athletes have pulled out.

    Though these games in the past have never reached the standard of the Olympics or the World Athletic championships they have always been enjoyable to watch with good competition.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think it's fair to say it is only a matter of time before Delhi gets shown up for being a third-tier city, rather than world-class as the politicians dare to point out. Not only have they managed to make a farce of their own capital, they've also damaged the credibility of the Commonwealth Games itself. And the people there will be the first to suffer from it.

    And the, almost, inevitable comparison with how China held the Olympics in 2008 is looming ever so larger...

  • Comment number 21.

    It's pathetic to see people try and defend this.

    Surely any patriotic Indian, should be asking who are the small number of people responsible for making a mockery of the city and the country.
    I don't believe this is the best India can do.

    Pride comes before a fall.

    Nonethless I hope and think the games will be largely a success.

  • Comment number 22.

    This isn't an 'Indian' problem, but is rather a more challenging general trend in the awarding of 'mega events' - Commonwealth Games, FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Winter Olympics etc - to countries which do not have the infrastructure in place to deliver them.

    We've seen it recently in South Africa, and will again in Rio and Brazil for the Olympics and World Cup. Much of the blame should lie with the organising committees in so far as there is frequently widespread and deep seated corruption, but first, the question has to be asked about why they were awarded the event in the first place, and the final cost (not just financial).

    I understand and believe that these events should go to diverse host cities and countries, to give them a chance to promote themselves on a world stage, but these efforts will seriously damage the profile of India, and that of the Commonwealth Games.

  • Comment number 23.

    13. At 11:47pm on 21 Sep 2010, PeacePipe wrote:
    I agree with Dr Antonias Fuccilio. Do not discriminate against the Indian people for the spectacular failure of the Games' preparation. We in India are as much at the mercy of corrupt and selfish officials as the participating athletes are.
    It is a national shame and a disgrace to see the preparation in this state just a short time before the games begin. Those Indians who seek to defend the officials in charge are guilty of a misplaced sense of patriotism.
    What could we, as citizens, have done to prevent this? Not much, as officials have all the rights and the common man is helpless against them. No court would have been able to bring the guilty to justice because the courts themselves are not independent.
    Canceling the games would only rub salt in the wounds of the citizens. If by some rare organizational skill, the games can be saved, then let's hope and work towards that goal.
    Lastly, I would like to add that the comment by an official that 'Western Standards' of cleanliness are different from Indian standards is a complete disgrace, and a slap on the face of all Indians. In one sentence he has consigned us to a section of humanity that is OK with living in filth. Though our country in many places is not as clean as Westerners expect, it is not something we are content to live with, and we struggle with it everyday.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Without wishing to sound patronising, I find this comment to be most poignant.
    It is obvious to the rest of the world that corruption in India is designed to keep the status quo. This has, up to now, been merely a cause for raised eyebrows and the shrugging of shoulders, but if India now wishes to be seen as a world force something has to change, (which will never happen).
    It's the general public I feel sorry for, as this debacle will be taken as a slant against their country and culture, which is shameful.

  • Comment number 24.

    Unfortunately this looks like the end of the commonwealth games, not just this one, but all future games.
    If as has happened a lot of the richer nations athletes withdraw, you can expect some of the poorer countries to withdraw from future games.

  • Comment number 25.

    13. At 11:47pm on 21 Sep 2010, PeacePipe wrote:

    -------------------------------------------------
    Without wishing to sound patronising, I find this comment to be most poignant.
    It is obvious to the rest of the world that corruption in India is designed to keep the status quo. This has, up to now, been merely a cause for raised eyebrows and the shrugging of shoulders, but if India now wishes to be seen as a world force something has to change, (which will never happen).
    It's the general public I feel sorry for, as this debacle will be taken as a slant against their country and culture, which is shameful.

  • Comment number 26.

    heres a few facts:
    India is basically an open sewer people are used to excrement everywhere.
    There is wide spread corruption police work with the touts here.
    most construction work here is carried out by hand
    India has many terrorist networks demanding independence from India.
    the indian prime minister is hardly ever sympathetic to his own people.


    of course there were going to be problems, being a frequent traveller to India I could see the mess Delhi was in. The heavy handed tactics used by government to carry out the building work against its own people. I could see that a miracle would be required for completion. Visiting Delhi this year has put me off revisting India again. A country i used to see as a second home.

  • Comment number 27.

    A sad state of affairs, but having spent a great deal of time living and working in India over the past 2 year this is not a surprise, and 2 words sum this situation up perfectly, Buearacracy and Corruption.

    Quite a few of my Indian work colleagues are secretly keen for the games to be a failure, hoping that any subsequent major reviews and fall out would lead to a reivew of the corruption cultre that infiltrates all aspects of life in India, and hopefully changes for the better in the future.

    As for the buearacracy, the reports of, 'Craig Hunter, the chef de mission of the England team, is trying to get his colleagues past security so they can continue the cleaning job they started themselves' this does not surprise me in any way shape or form....this happens all the time and in all aspects of life, and will have been greatly slowing down the work that has been ongoing, anyone who has had to get official documents sorted in India will, i'm sure, have experienced the crazy levels of buearacracy in India.

    The CWG failing would be a massive massive embarrassment to India, and in the short term could seriously damage the country, not just in relation to sporting events, but I wonder, as my friends do, whether in the long term this could be the reality check needed to make India into the global leader it could and should be.

  • Comment number 28.

    It's quite a serious thing for any country to risk their athletes (Citizens) just to please a third world country-India. India has more pressing concerns than to be hosting CWGs, therefore it needs to deal with the corruption, terrorism, POVERTY, KASHMIR PROBLEM, MAOISTS AROUND THE COUNTRY and so on. Jesus Christ, as an athlete, you go to your resting place and find human waste and wild dogs resting on your bed. Just the thought makes me feel to vomit. Those poor souls (Athletes) how can they concentrate on the competition when they come back to the village is surrounded by stagnant waste around the village (Check yesterday's BBC Report) and how could they treat the ordinary poor Indians like rubbish. The local authorities are putting them in jails till the games are over... What in God's Name is going on? When it was in China the World Media ripped the life out of Chinese Organizers. Why we have double standards here? What's happening in India is far worst than what China did. Poverty struck Indians living in Delhi must be cursing these games and many of those being put behind bars for selling fruits and Veg on streets are already stating that they would either kill themselves or they would rob or damage the people around them (Again it's on yesterday's BBC report). Where are security concerns? Don't we think for one moment that what's happening Kashmir since June this year, 100 innocent people have been killed by the armed forces of India, would none of them would make any damage to revenge? Two days ago, in the heart of Delhi, two foreigners are shot dead... imagine when the Delhi is in middle of the games and is full of foreigners, can corrupt officials of India and CWGF's authorities can ensure their safety? THE ANSWER IS 'NO!' ... then why pulling wool over our eyes... And those angry low caste 'MAOISTS' ... who are mad to seek independence from india would they not make international news? Are we forgetting Mumbai attacks 2008? Choice is yours dear participating athletes... it's all about safety, hygiene and everything else. My verdict is CANCEL THE GAMES AND IT WOULD A LESS LOSS AND EMBARRASSMENT TO EVERYONE AND SPECIALLY INDIA. I HOPE AS A TRUE HUMAN AND BRITISH I HAVE PUT MY FEARS STRAIGHT...

  • Comment number 29.

    IT'S THE WORLD'S POLITICS TO BE BLAMED TO PUT INDIA INTO SUCH A LURCH. YOU CANNOT COMPARE INDIA WITH CHINA IN ANY WAY. YES! WORLD ELITE IS USING INDIA AS AN ESCAPE GOAT AND THE MEDIA HAS HYPED UP INDIANS SAYING 'INDIA ONE OF THE TOP RICHEST ECONOMIES OF THE WORLD' ... THE WORLD BEST DEMOCRATIC STATE IN WORLD WHERE HINDUS, CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, SIKHS LIVE SIDE BY SIDE... ALL LIES BUT NOTHING... YOU ENTER FROM ONE STATE TO ANOTHER IN INDIA, YOU SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGE AND YOU CANNOT SEEK WORK IN A STATE IN WHICH YOU DON'T LIVE OR NOT A PART OF IT... GOOD EXAMPLES, KASHMIR ON FIRE, MAJORITY SIKHS DREAMING OF KHALASTAN, MAOISTS FED UP WITH THE INJUSTICE AND I CAN CARRY ON ... MY PLEA IS PLEASE DON'T ENDANGER YOUR SHINING PEOPLE (ATHLETES) BY SENDING THEM TO INDIA... SIMPLY CANCEL THE GAMES ... IT'S THE BEST ACTION ONLY AND IN FAVOUR OF US ALL.

  • Comment number 30.

    seanJohnDC in his comment accuses the British of being jealous over the 2010 Commonwealth games and says to use the word "Commonwealth" to describe the games is "discriminatory" because of what the British empire did. This shows a complete lack of understanding in how and why the Commonwealth was set up, who runs it and who is a member. A number of the current members, for instance, were never part of the British empire or sphere of influence. India wanted the commonwealth games to show how far they have come as a leading nation: unfortunately there is a big difference between the efficient private enterprises in India and the inefficient (and allegedly corrupt) local/national governments who are running these games. Organising officials have already admitted there is a lack of co-ordination between different bodies and they say that standards of accommodation are different between the west and india: that should not be so for an international competition that should be up to the same level as other international venues. Remember, it was the indian organisers who said that the accommodation facilities would be the best every for the commonwealth games: this is obviously not the case. He also suggests the British were "jealous" of the facilities. Not sure the British would be jealous of facilities where the roofs of venues fall in before the competition began (see Weightlifting centre today). The complaints are also not just from England, Scotland and Wales but New Zealand, Australia, Canada. These are big sports countries who would normally end up with the bulk of the medals. Without them, there is no real competition. For us who look forward to these games, that would be a shame.

  • Comment number 31.

    Came back from New Delhi 2 weeks ago. The only area worth visiting is around the central Delhi where all VIP stay. Rest is just garbage. MP's made sure that area around them is not only clean and well maintained but also have world class facilities. Whereas they have ignored other parts of Delhi. I am glad to see that all (CWG) is falling apart, a good lesson for the most corrupted ministers on earth..

  • Comment number 32.

    I have organised large international events in Delhi and I can't say I'm surprised at the reports. There is a tendency for decision making to be made by individuals who have little interest, actual oversight or personal involvement in the details or progress of a project. There is a class gap between those who own a project and those who manage the work. Those who own a project rarely want to see what is going wrong and get imaginative or determined about fixing it.

    When I work there I find myself in endless supplier meetings at director level where it would appear obvious to a bystander that agreements are being made, but either nobody at the meeting has final decision making responsibility, or, having agreed to something, they'll happily back out of it later.

    I would guess as far as the village is concerned, it's the landmark buildings - the stadia and complexes that have seen all the attention, funding and decision making. While the village, as it may be seen as a less prestigious project by those involved, has been treated as a poor cousin. I would imagine that no-one with any power will have ever taken it upon themselves a few months ago to identify that progress was poor and take responsibility for fixing it.

    As far as nepotism, inflated prices for goods and services etc is concerned, this problem is by no means confined to India.

    Finally, a word about the athletes. With the exception of cricketers and Bollywood stars, few sportspeople and performers (unless well connected) have the same relative status in India as athletes in other countries enjoy. So there may be a view that the village accommodation need not be that special, through there would be an expectation amongst Indians that it would be clean. (If the athletes' village was being built for cricketers, they would have been finished long ago and would no doubt be five star quality).

    Which brings me on to the rubble and excrement: no Indian citizen is content with it, they just put up with it as part of daily life across most of the city. The Delhi government simply doesn't see that a city-wide municipal clear up and the installation of public toilets as a need, though everybody who lives there would like to see it done. And having been a visitor to government offices in Delhi, there's rubble, dodgy wiring and bad plumbing in their buildings too.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    seanJohnDC - Having worked in India and with Indians for many years you are displaying exactly the type of attitude that gives India a bad reputation. Failure to admit you have made a mistake and then turning it around and blaming other people.
    Believe me, no-one in England is jealous of India and it's facilities.

  • Comment number 35.

    The money that is wasted in bidding for and hosting major sporting events is disgusting to agree that only just eclipses the lazy, glib media coverage of it. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa? I wonder if the million+ HIV+ people who have to go without retroviral drugs because SA, cannot afford them, think it was money well spent. I'm sure they're as excited as the thousands of kids living in the sewers of Rio are about the 2016 Olympics. Or for that matter the 40% of children living in poverty in Tower Hamlets. I wonder if they know that £500 million stadium presently being built on their doorstep (by shipped-in labour)is to be partially destroyed (at a projected cost of £20 million) because it simply is not needed? I doubt it! I'm sure the young people of Hackney can't wait to gety their hands on the velodrome after the games! With unemployment at 25%, they've got nothing else to do, apparently

    The 'legacy' arguments are almost exclusively buncum. Ask the Barcelona authority or the City of Montreal about the cost / benefit analysis! That the Indian government should never have allowed to waste a single penny on even bidding to host such an event is a no-brainer; and since when has the risk of gastroenteric disease for 'Westerners' visiting India been front page news! Does the expression 'Dehli Belly' ring any bells?

    Finally, so the universally clinically dull atheletes aren't happy about their accomodation? Go and stay in a hotel! If you can't afford to pay for that yourself - Go home! Who Cares? Does the ability to run quickly or throw something really mean that you expect third world governments to provide 5* accomodation ??????????????????????????????

  • Comment number 36.

    Quick_Single, don't coun't South Africa in there. For all it's problems, that country is now an official world class sports destination. They've hosted everything under the sporting sun for the last 15 years successfully. The Olympics and Commonwealth are the only missing events from its increasingly impressive CV.

  • Comment number 37.

    Before everyone gets carried away, I would like to point out that the common factor in all major projects across the globe are people who see an opportunity to make loads of money, the self interest overides any national or community pride. Im sure if you all look at your own countries involvement in large national projects then you will find the same core themes surface. A reminder of the re-building of the iconic Wembley Stadium by the FA in England, ring any bells ?? Its cost from day one to the final figure were huge ( £700 million), the time it took, had to financed by a German Bank !!! The pitch has had to be relaid 5 times. Many of those involved mad a huge amount of money. So I repeat we need to all have a good look in the mirror. Certain People of all colours, creed and nations are corrupt to the core. Politicians across the globe are wedded to each other through their corrupt and greed. We are all subjected to the 24hrs media which rules above all else.

  • Comment number 38.

    India were given the rights to host the 2010 Commonwealth games in say 2006? Thats ample time to get things in order. Ok so the weather is out of their control and is obviously a major set back! However surely the people in charge of the opperation must of realised they were behind schedule? Why are Athletes only finding out days before that facilities arent up to standard?

  • Comment number 39.

    I find it hilarious that, even at this stage, there are patriotic but misguided Indians everywhere, shouting from the rooftops that this will be "the best Games ever..." with the obligatory "better than Beijing" to reassert their own view that they are better than China. Indians, listen... YOU ARE NOT IN THE SAME LEAGUE.

    By all means this should have been a success - I notice the media have turned a blind eye (up until it now - i.e. too late) to all the human rights abuses, shoddy workmanship, etc etc... remember China's problem with all the Tibetan groups and messing up their Torch parades? In addition to newspaper article after newspaper article of the flaws in the runup to Beijing 2008... yet despite all the rubbish, they prevailed. So despite the world pressure off India for so long, why has this been a failure for India?

  • Comment number 40.

    I went to India in the late 1980s, the first of many highly enjoyable visits. Then, the most practical way to get a visa was to go to the Indian High Commission in person. After several hours waiting, the man in front of me, a surgeon from London, rose to his feet and saying "these bloody people couldn't organise a p**s-up in a brewery" stormed out of the building in disgust. And he was Indian! I later found out that he was being a bit unfair. Indians in commerce can be quite good at organisation - not as good as they say they are, but nobody is so good. But, Indian political institutions are hopelessly bad at what they do - as evidenced by the appalling infrastructure of the country. They've had the resources to improve things for decades, but nothing gets done. The Games will go ahead - because of the good-will of the Commonwealth - but they will be tainted by incompetence and failed management. India will not host another sporting tournament, other than cricket, for decades. To compare India with China is just laughable. China understands chain of command, responsibility, and changes things at the top if anything goes wrong. In India, the top management are gods - if anything goes wrong it's always someone else's fault.

  • Comment number 41.

    Delhi Commonwealth Games are in a mess. Yes, this is the worst monsoons Delhi has seen in the last decade with constant flooding but the infrastructure should have been completed one year ago instead of relying on last minute preparations.
    The corruption and bureaucracy in India is an issue that needs to be addressed and hopefully this will be a reality check. This is a failure of the organization committee and not the Indian state. The Delhi metro and international airport are excellent examples of high quality project management and skill in Delhi.

    Some of the comments I have seen here are to say the least, extreme. Seriously?.. "not in the same league", "third world", "The Indian way of working doesn't adhere to timetables", "India is basically an open sewer"

    To the India bashers over here, think before you comment. We are not saying that we are the best country in the world but we are developing and will continue to do so. To take your comments outside the area of CWG and lambasting all Indians shows a hating mind and insecurity. No developing nation has made such progress in such a short period of time. Burdened with a huge population, we continue to make strides and believe we can become great with inclusive growth. It is easy to post mindless comments. We have issues and will solve them. To question the ability of Indians is a joke. The financial crisis showed the sound planning of Indian banks. Indians continue to work in top positions around the world. Indians are not the best but we are no less than anyone else. So grow up.

  • Comment number 42.

    Folks,

    While there are so many bad publicity going around the games, I just saw some wonderful pictures of the facilities. Thought that this should give a different view of the facilities.
    This is not justifying what is not good.

    I would imagine this link is only accessible to those on facebook.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31630849&fbid=1563380600387&id=1111507645

  • Comment number 43.

    It's a shame sitiations like this have bring out the aggressive and ignorant bigots as well as those who know how to make a point properly.

    Juan Gregor... I suggest you read up on what you are commenting on as you just spend a few minutes proving you are one of the above.

    You seem to be typical bleeding heart poster who believe that we should all be feeling guilt about being positive and progressive because we should really all be giving all our money away to the poor. How dare anyone spend money on anything but saving the world.

  • Comment number 44.

    The completely unbalanced negative media coverage of the games village is an attempt by jealous English people to try and prevent an emerging power from making progress. The only images you see are old not current and do not show the excellent stadia and luxury games village apartments already occupied by athletes. The last Manchester games used a university campus involving cramped basic accommodation.
    There is plenty of dog shit in England and you see people urinating in England on streets every night. India should withdraw from the commonwealth and look to Asian countries which are on the rise instead of a former power surviving on north sea oil which is running out.

  • Comment number 45.

    These are photographs of the Athletes Village taken yesterday by members of the Canadian hockey team. It looks amazing.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=235412&id=151599479507


  • Comment number 46.

    Please check out videos and photos posted by Team Wales:
    Games Village:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Wales/126663540695143#!/album.php?aid=35638&id=126663540695143
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7257516&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=126663540695143&aid=-1&id=504967246&oid=126663540695143
    Videos: Athletes Village dining hall, clinic and others;
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Wales/126663540695143?v=app_2392950137

    We sincerely hope that besides the mishaps which have already happened, everyone coming to Delhi will have a smashing time.

  • Comment number 47.

    It would be great if we competed as individual countries at every sport and competition. Being Scottish I don't get a chance to follow the Olympics or any of the athletics competitions because we don't get to compete as Scotland. I wouldn't support a British team as it's totally irrelevant to me as I'm Scottish not british.

  • Comment number 48.

    I am really disappointed with BBC. I have seen the bad photos feature prominently on their site for a week but not seen them put up any good photos from the athletics village or venues. It is sad when individual teams and not the media try to lift the spirit of the games. You went in, found the worst places and highlighted them making the world believe that all the facilities are of a low standard which is not true. Heartfelt support for Team Wales and Team Canada for showing a different side. Cover both sides or stop being a reporter. Blogs are opinionated and that is fine but not mainstream news to an extent that it starts feeling like propaganda.

  • Comment number 49.

    What many people seem not to understand is that the Commonwealth Games provides an excellent opportunity for young competing athletes from 71 countries to get to know each other better, to know each other's way of life and culture. The Games Village is an integeral part of this and accordingly it is imperative that it is ready, clean and operational when all 6,000 competitors arrive in Delhi. The athletes sleep, eat, watch TV, use the internet, buy souvenirs etc all from within the Game Village. There are, in some instances, 15-16 year olds competing, from small Countries, and these Games offer an excellent opportunity for them to broaden their knowledge about other Countries and its people, while providing valuable experience in their sport. These are not your highly-paid Diamond League athletes who live in 5-star hotels.
    Similarily you cannot compare the Games with the World Cup, which does not require an athletes village, as these extravagantly paid footballers would not even consider living in a Village. Instead they stay in the most luxurious and expensive hotels imaginable.
    Sadly that is why Delhi has failed in terms of providing a habitable and functioning Village, ready to accept athletes TEN days before the Opening Ceremony (02 Oct.), which is required under the Commonweath Games Constitution. I sincerely hope that the venues will be ready for the first day of competition.
    I am open to questions if anyone cares to ask because I have competed at several Commowealth Games hence my information above.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks James. This is one of the few fair bit of criticism I have seen on this blog.
    I agree with you that Delhi could have gone much smoother. But I also believe that the media is making it look far worse. There are a lot of positives but those get sidelined for the few negatives which sell.
    The teams who have settled in believe that this is one of the best accommodation they have witnessed at CWGs. Please see below video, its probably more fair (weighing the good and the ugly) than the stuff I have seen coming out of BBC till now:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11415577
    Also I have posted links from Team Welsh and Team Field Canada facebook groups before.

    As to what happened:
    Some incompetent officials were responsible for the mess. They were running tight on schedule and then the worst monsoons that Delhi has ever witnessed occurred with constant floods which halted all activities in the past 4 months. Should they have completed it much before - absolutely.

    But don't forget the effort people of India put in for these games. Its not only about the stadiums or the athletics village. Delhi built one of the largest airport terminals to ensure the Games is a success. The Delhi metro was built to connect all places which is not easy in a city of 13 million people. The city went green. A lot of flyovers, hostels were built. All this took more than 4 years to complete.

    Security and para-military personnel are deployed all over the city. The schools are currently shut to ensure traffic is smooth. My brother's band is excited to play at some events organized for the teams. More official songs/welcome videos are below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV4tas0cqew
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irL7QhrpF8s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY2ll6UBDlE&NR=1

    As for the stadiums, the international CWG committee said that the facilities were top notch.
    For the Games Village: the international zone including souvenir shops, indoor games etc; dining hall; the ease of access to training facilities is a bit hit amongst the teams who have settled. Out of 5000 rooms, around 10% of the rooms were not completed and here is where all the mess started.

    Hunderds of volunteers are taking part in the games. So I wish people will take more out of these games for the sheer enthusiasm of the Indian public. If Commonwealth Games is supposed to promote relations or celebrate common culture between these countries, then we might fail completely unless all sides show some restraint in their criticism as that has been the most disappointing. I really hope the athletes enjoy the tournament and India learns some lessons which might prove more beneficial for it in the long run.

  • Comment number 51.



    Manchester's athletes' village

    "It's a small campus in a small area, which seems to have about 3,000 students normally and they are going to put 4,800 people in there," said Crosswhite, who is also the chief executive of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/manchesters-athletes-village-causes-concern-653046.html

    Manchester's athletes' village causes concern...

    One other potential headache facing organisers is establishing precisely how many athletes will be attending so they can be catered for. Competing nations have so far forwarded some 1,700 names and if they all turn up that could prove too many.

    "If all the athletes who have signed up to come actually come, then there would have to be some creative ways of handling those numbers," Dick Palmer, the chairman of the evaluation team, said. He said that "hot-bedding" could be one solution, with athletes who compete early moving out of the village after their events to make way for competitors whose events take place later.

    hot beding etc etc ....

    enough said.....

 

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