OC, CGF on collision course over review panel


New Delhi: The setting-up of an independent technical review panel to monitor the monthly progress of the 2010 Commonwealth Games has not gone down well with the Organising Committee (OC) members who see it as an avoidable burden.

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After a week-long assessment of Delhi’s preparedness, CGF president Michael Fennell Monday stated that the technical experts would assist OC in meeting the deadlines.

The National Sports Federations,however, suspect that the move will lead to needless friction between OC and the CGF.

An OC member, not wanting to be named, said the appointment of the technical review panel would not only undermine the OC, but also be a burden on the ex-chequer.

When Fennell was Monday asked about who will pick up the tabs of the experts, he would not directly answer, except saying that the CGF will “assume the responsibility to assist the Organising Committee.”

A day after Fennell listed a series of “corrective” measures, especially on the operational front, the OC top brass switched off their phones or did not answer the calls. But the media cell released a statement quoting the delegates from Pakistan, Kenya and Malaysia backing India to organise a successful Games.

Some OC members feel that Fennell is unnecessary pushing for more international consultants to be included.

Another official said a majority of the CGF delegates were satisfied with the pace of the work and they even wondered why so much fuss is being made about the infrastructure readiness.

“We have enough expertise in organising major Games and the success of the 1982 Asian Games that had 14 disciplines is a testimony to it. The Games are still a year away and the concerns raised by Fennell on the operational front are clearly unfounded. The logistics, accreditations, etc will not take much time. Once the test events start all the issues will be sorted out,” the official said.

National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi and Archery Association of India (AAI) secretary-general Paresh Nath Mukherjee felt that the CGF was taking undue advantage of the situation.

Sethi, who had vehemently opposed CGF’s decision to appoint a foreign sports manager for shooting, said that the review panel will be of little help.

“It appears that the CGF thinks that we are incapable of doing the job. They should know that India will host some test events before that Games and by then everything will be in place. Do they expect us to finish everything 12 months in advance and then let everything to rot?” Sethi asked.

The NRAI official felt that the CGF was adopting double standards.

“The CGF president says that he is happy with India’s progress. Then where was the need to appoint this technical review panel,” he asked.

Mukherjee felt that the CGF is trying to arm-twisting OC.

Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) secretary-general P.K. Muralidharan Raja said it is an irony that India which deputes experts for other international events is being treated as no good by the CGF.

“As far as boxing is concerned, our officials are deputed to supervise the World Championships. I don’t see any reason for this panel,” said Raja, who is on the international judges panel of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).