India Rejects Monitoring of 2010 Games Preparations by Big Brother

Rejecting what was considered at the compromise formula for the 2010 Games, Chairman of the Organizing Committee Suresh Kalmadi has said that India will not accept an independent panel of experts to monitor Delhi’s progress for the Games.

Mike Fennel, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, had on Monday suggested review of India’s preparations every month by a new committee. The Big Brother panel was seen as a thinly-veiled indictment.

Fennel wrote straight to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for his help with the Games. He, along with other delegates, inspected several venues for the Games in Delhi last week. Construction at most venues are running behind schedule.

On Thursday, Kalmadi has struck back by counter-attacking the international organizers. He has requested that Mike Hooper be sent back to London. Hooper is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Launching a direct attack, Kalmadi said that Hooper has “not proved beneficial to the organizing committee of the Games…he has been of no use. We’ve asked that he be sent back to London, and we’d like a replacement”.

However, Hooper, while giving his response to a TV channel, has this to say: “This is the time to work together, Kalmadi should learn to work together, not make personal issues…the suggestion that I am an impediment is nonsense. I thought I was doing well.”

The politics of organizing the Games could soon overshadow the real task at hand: getting Delhi ready on time, and without rushing through safety checks.

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