Commonwealth Games chaos downplayed

India’s foreign minister has says Delhi’s
Commonwealth Games will meet international standards, amid concerns over
hygiene and safety.

Despite the withdrawal of some
athletes over security concerns and complaints from several countries, SM
Krishna said India would be “able to deliver” on the Games, which
begin in 11 days.

He said a prolonged monsoon had
hampered last-minute preparations, but offered reassurance to participating
nations that security would be provided for every athlete and stadium.

“The Commonwealth Games will
be conducted according to international standards… and it will be one of the
most successful Games yet,” said Mr Krishna.

On Tuesday, a footbridge under
construction collapsed near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – the main Games venue
– injuring 27 workers. On Wednesday, a section of ceiling caved in at the
weightlifting venue.

The athletes’ village has also come
in for criticism, with complaints of flooding, rooms soiled by excrement and
stray dogs sleeping on some beds.

The Scottish team say they will not
travel until the site is “secure”. The English and Welsh teams have
also yet to make final decisions about taking part, though the first group of
22 English athletes is expected to fly out to Delhi on today, Thursday.

The event has been plagued by
construction delays, allegations of corruption and a dengue fever outbreak in
the Indian capital.

A host of the world’s leading
athletes have pulled out of the event, with English athletes Phillips Idowu,
Christine Ohuruogu and Lisa Dobriskey the most recent withdrawals.

Delhi 2010 was supposed to be a
springboard for a 2020 Olympic bid. That can be almost certainly be consigned
to the rubbish bin”

Ticket sales have been
disappointing and the cost of hosting the largest sporting event in the
country’s history has soared, making it the most expensive Games in history,
with estimates ranging from $3 billion to more than $10 billion, as organisers
attempt to complete work which only began in 2008.