Exclusive: Malaysian chief joins growing band blaming Hooper
04 October 2010By Tom Degun in New Delhi
October 4 – Another leading figure has joined the growing band of people pointing the finger at Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive Mike Hooper over the disastrous build-up to Delhi 2010.
Sieh Kok Chi, secretary general of the Commonwealth Games Association of Malaysia/Olympic Council of Malaysia, told insidethegames that recent criticism of the CGF is completely warranted.
He said: "The General Assembly decided not to find fault but to allow the Games to end before carrying out a detailed post mortem on what went wrong.
"This was a correct decision as it is important for the athletes that the Games be concluded successfully.
"On the other hand, many of the delegates and I strongly believe Mike Hooper should not be permitted to get away with such poor coordination.
"Having spent almost three years in Delhi receiving generous expenses, he has nothing to show for it except to blame the Organising Committee.
"Frankly, he is only a sports administrator and has no knowledge or experience in project management and coordination.
"The most inappropriate thing he said was that he was not an engineer and hence could not do anything.
"If he was not an engineer and could not do anything, then he should have stepped down and let someone else who is better take over.
"The New Zealand Sports Minister is absolutely correct and fair to apportion some of the blame to Mike Hooper.”
New Zealander Hooper has been vocally attacked by his fellow countrymen in recent weeks with Sports Minister Murray McCully stating he cannot simply distance himself from the problems in the build-up to Delhi, having lived in the city for almost three years.
He added: "There’s going to be a sharing of responsibility."
Barry Maister, secretary general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, and Mike Stanley, President, have also blamed Hooper for the catastrophic events leading up to Delhi, which included photos of a “filthy" Athletes’ Village being broadcast just days before the Games.
Meanwhile Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi pointedly omitted Hooper in his speech at the Opening Ceremony.
Hooper has continued to lay the blame at the feet of the Organising Committee stating that he gave continual warnings to Kalmadi that progress in organising the Games was well behind schedule.