Diplomacy prevailed in the end. After weeks of confrontationist posturing over various issues, the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games (OCCG), Suresh Kalmadi, struck a conciliatory note and signed a ‘peace treaty’ with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Chairman, Mike Fennell, in London on Thursday.
In a joint statement, they admitted there had been “misunderstandings and unfortunate media statements” that had created a “regrettable set of circumstances.”
The statement said: “We feel that (it) is critical that our attention is focused entirely on those functional areas that are essential to the successful celebration of the Games in 2010 and no useful purpose would be served by spending precious time on those issues and we will put this behind us.
“We have agreed that we will continue to work together as partners, fully recognising and respecting our individual roles and ensuring that our attention is not diverted from meeting all the targets that have been agreed upon.”
It was stated that the two officials had meetings with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials present in London and the Union Sports Minister, M.S. Gill, and informed them of the understanding reached.
“All agreed that we must now move forward with the sole objective of guaranteeing the successful celebration of the 2010 Games in Delhi.”
It was agreed that no further comment would be made by the parties concerned.
Following critical remarks made by Fennell, who also announced the formation of a technical review panel to oversee progress in Delhi’s preparations, the IOA, also headed by Kalmadi, stated that no such panel was required.
Kalmadi also demanded the recall of the CGF CEO, Mike Hooper, from Delhi since, in his opinion, the official was proving a hindrance rather than a help.
Fennell rejected that demand and also stuck to his argument that the review panel would be in place. The wait now is for the visit of the CGF Co-ordination Commission on December 14 when the preparations would be evaluated.