Gill to Broker Peace between CGF and OC

Taking a step to broker peace between the 2010 Organising Committee (OC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Sports Minister MS Gill met OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Tuesday to discuss the issues hitting New Delhi’s preparation for the event.

Kalmadi called on Gill at latter’s residence in the morning. In the meeting, the Sports Minister assessed the progress of preparations and discussed the controversial issues that have the OC and the CGF at loggerheads.

“I met Mr Kalmadi on Tuesday and had a long discussion on all the matters. I will be talking to (CGF Chief) Mr Mike Fennell on telephone and will have a meeting with him, (CGF CEO Mike) Hooper and Mr Kalmadi in London on October 28,” Gill said after the meeting.

“I am confident that all issues will be resolved and everyone will work in unison to ensure a very good Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year,” the minister added.

It should be noted that the OC and the CGF almost reached a deadlock seemingly over two main issues – the necessity of a Technical Review Panel and Hooper’s stay in Delhi.

During his visit, Fenell made it absolutely clear that preparations for the games needed to be fast-tracked if New Delhi is to deliver on its commitment of putting on the best Commonwealth Games ever.

Fennel’s statement that the CGF had decided to set up a Technical Review Panel to monitor the progress didn’t go down well with the OC and Kalmadi clearly dismissed the idea.

Furthermore, Hooper’s presence in New Delhi is another contention with Kalmadi who termed the CGF top official as an “impediment” to the capital’s preparation and seeking his removal.

“I will ask Mr Fennell to depute someone who can work with us. That is all. We need someone who guides and encourages us and not confront us at all meetings,” Kalmadi had earlier said in a statement.

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