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President Fennell speaks from Delhi
Friday, 20 August 2010

President's statement from Delhi:

My visit to Delhi, planned many months ago, is very important as I must be able to ascertain the level of preparedness so I can report to our 71 nations and territories who will bring athletes to these Games in Delhi.

During my time here I met with the Chief Minister of Delhi, the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister responsible for the recently formed Group of Ministers to oversee the Games, and the Minister of Sport.

It was evident to me from these meetings that there is a strong commitment from all concerned, under the direction of he Prime Minister, to ensure that everyone is working together during these final stages of preparation to ensure a successful Games.

Recently there has been a lot of reporting of alleged corruption, and this is of great concern to us at the Federation and all involved.

We have made it very clear that the Indian authorities need to investigate all such claims and, where appropriate, bring down the full force of the Indian law.

The CGF also refutes any claim of impropriety. The CGF is an organisation of the highest standards and we do not condone corruptive practices ever.

Along with our CEO, Mike Hooper, I visited every one of the 17 competition venues for our 17 sports. I was impressed with the significant progress made since my last visit at the end of June, and I am confident that these will be ready for the Games.

All venues are in practical terms complete, but there still remains a large amount of finishing works, including the cleaning and landscaping of the site to enable them to be presented at their best.

These works must be done with great urgency. The image of the Games and image of the stakeholders will be determined by the appearance of the venues.

Once finalised, these venues will be truly outstanding and world class, providing a rich legacy for sport in India.

We have sought the necessary completion certification that all venues are structurally safe and sound, and fit for purpose. To date we have received certification that 12 of the competition venues are compliant with Indian codes and undertakings that all supporting documentation across all venues will be provided by August 31.

The Village is the heartbeat of the Games and is of primary importance to the CGF.

The residential zone is currently undergoing final remedial work and the installation of furniture, and the site still requires the removal of debris and landscaping.

Some areas in the Village are behind schedule. There is a large amount of work to be done in the international zone, particularly in the dining and kitchen areas. We have been given assurances that these will be completed by September 16 for the soft opening of the Village.

When finished, the village will surpass any previous village in the history of the Games.

Dengue is an issue that has received coverage recently. The Organising Committee's chief medical officer has advised that considerable work is being undertaken to protect people from this and my own observations from this visit is that this work is being effective. However, we will urge people to still take precautions.

The second International Security Liaison Conference was held in Delhi in late July and the reports we received indicated that security planning for the Games remains sound and of the highest priority.

The CGF also has its own security advisors, Itelligent Risks. They will be in Delhi again in September to provide a further security review to us.

Providing a safe environment for the athletes is of the utmost importance.

I leave Delhi feeling reassured that there has been good and solid progress.

There is a tremendous amount of finishing work that still needs to be done. Great focus is required across the coming weeks so we can celebrate the 19th Commonwealth Games in good style.

With this visit completed, I will be writing to the presidents of the 71 Commonwealth Games Associations telling them I am looking forward to welcoming them and their teams in Delhi next month.

 

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