The 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games organiser and its parent body CGF, who have been engaged in a bitter dispute over organisational matters, on Friday decided to bury their differences and work together for the success of the Games.
After a marathon meeting between Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Michael Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, it was decided to resolve issues which have arisen over the past few weeks.
“It is agreed that there have been misunderstandings and unfortunate media statements and reports that have created a regrettable set of circumstances.
“However, we feel that is critical that our attention is focussed 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,” a joint statement issued by Mr. Fennell and Mr. Kalmadi said.
“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 said.
Although the statement did not specify what decisions the two had taken during the much anticipated meeting, sources in the Organising Committee said that CGF CEO Mike Hooper will continue to remain in New Delhi to oversee the preparations of the Games.
The OC had sought Mr. Hooper’s transfer out of Delhi calling him “useless” and “impediment” in the smooth functioning of the Organising committee.
Mr. Hooper and Mr. Kalmadi were engaged in a public spat barely a few days after the CGF’s General Assembly in Delhi.
However, the CGF’s proposal to form an independent review panel to oversee the preparations of the Games has been put on hold for the time being, according to the OC sources.
A decision on whether to go ahead with the panel would be taken only after the Coordination Commission’s visit to Delhi from December 14.
“We also met with office-bearers of the Indian Olympic Association present in London and the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Hon’ble Dr M S Gill and informed them of our understanding and all agreed that we must now move forward with the sole objective of guaranteeing the successful celebration of the 2010 Games in Delhi,” the statement said.
“The next step will be the visit of the CGF Co-ordination Commission commencing December 14 and they will evaluate the progress to date and the achievement of the targets promised by the Organising Committee. The results of this review will be further considered and appropriate action agreed by all parties.
“It was also agreed that no further comment would be made by the parties concerned,” it added.
The CGF and OC have been waging a public battle with the organisers drawing flak for lagging behind schedule. Fennell had announced that an independent Technical Review Panel would be set up to monitor Delhi’s progress.
The OC, however, shot down the idea, saying there was no need for another monitoring panel since the CGF Coordination Commission was already there to periodically assess the progress. I