The bitter war of words between 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper should not have happened, Sports Minister M S Gill said , promising to do all he can to resolve the issues between the two.
“Whatever has happened is not right and shouldn’t have happened,” Gill told reporters.
“I just want to say that on October 29, I am going to London for the Queen’s Baton Relay and there I will meet Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell and Kalmadi and I will talk to them and try to resolve the matter. I will listen to both the sides,” he said.
Kalmadi and Hooper have been engaged in an ugly public spat with the OC chairman demanding that CGF call back Hooper from Delhi. Kalmadi said the New Zealander was of “no use” and has been an “impediment” to the Organising Committee’s functioning.
Hooper, on his part, has struck a defiant pose after getting the CGF’s backing, insisting that he would not leave Delhi.
Speaking on the controversy-mired build-up to the Games, Gill said despite concerns about the tardy pace of preparations, Delhi would host the event successfully.
“We are confident of holding a successful Games and even the Prime Minister assured Fennell that the country will organise a successful Games,” Gill said.
“Fennell has raised some questions about the functioning and management of this organising committee. Those issues have been addressed and we have made certain changes in the management. We have done the required work,” he added.
Gill said three new officials of cabinet rank would be inducted in the committee soon.
“We have appointed Jarnail Singh as the new CEO for the organising committee and three more senior officers of cabinet rank will also join soon. Among them, will be a chief financial officer who will look after all this Games related matter. So, the management issues have been addressed, he said.
“All the preparations are going on as planned,” he added.