Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hooper denies blaming India over CWG mess

No end to the controversies over the Commonwealth Games (CWG) -this time over an interview given by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) CEO Mike Hooper to a New Zealand media, which is blown up into a controversy.

Mike Hooper denies making anti-India remarks to a New Zealand media. He says his comments are being misinterpreted by sections of the media in India.

Reports said Hooper blamed Indian government for delay in getting the CWG facilities ready.

"We have limited resources. Promises were made when the contract was given. Things in Delhi have picked up. Lot of pressure is on everybody. I thank the Delhi government for getting it done," said Hooper.

CGF boss Mike Fennell might talk about sharing the blame for poor preparations of the Delhi mega-event but its CEO Mike Hooper says the CGF cannot be held responsible for the Organising Committee's failure to meet deadlines.

"I take responsibility for my areas of responsibility, and that has been working very hard with the organising committee to get things done. Now, at the end of the day, I'm not a construction engineer. I'm not a builder," Hooper told 'TVNZ'.

Hooper said the developers of the venues did not hand them over to the OC on time and this has led to the current crisis."We're at the hands and the mercy of, effectively, the government of India, the Delhi government, the agencies responsible for delivery of the venues.

They consistently failed to meet deadlines," he said. "Now, we were very active, very strong in pushing for this to be done. The actual venues were not handed over effectively - and I say handed over from the point of view of getting venue-completion certificates and occupancy certificates," he added.

Hooper said the organisers did not act despite repeated reminders by the CGF. "...the very frustrating thing is we have consistently spoken out loudly and clearly, consistent in our reporting: 'Get these things done. Get these venues delivered. Focus on the operational delivery of the Games.'

"And unfortunately, we are where we are.

Now, we can all do these post-mortems later, Paul. The reality is right now we need to focus on getting as much as we can done. It is unfortunate that we had to go as public as we did yet again," he added.

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