Wednesday, September 22, 2010

British Sport minister's support for CWG

Commonwealth Games 2010: 'utter tragedy' if Games do not take place, says Hugh Robertson

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has claimed it would be ''an utter tragedy'' if the Commonwealth Games do not go ahead in New Delhi next month but remains confident the event will take place.

Commonwealth Games 2010: 'utter tragedy' if Games do not take place, says Hugh Robertson
New blow: Indian security personnel work at the site of a collapsed pedestrian bridge outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi Photo: REUTERS
Fears have been raised that the event, which has 6,500 athletes taking part, could have to be cancelled due to shocking conditions in the athletes' village that has left the facilities branded unfit for human habitation.
To make matters worse, a number of workers were hospitalised on Tuesday when a 100m-long bridge linking a car-park to the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium - the main venue for the Games - collapsed while it was being completed.
The minister said: ''It would be an utter tragedy if anything went wrong at the last moment but I have had no indication that this will not go ahead and I expect it to do so.
''They need support and understanding and for people to back their Games, it is not helpful to just throw your hands in the air.
''We are clearly in a slightly fevered media environment and it's important that one takes a sensible and strategic long-term view.
''There is nothing that I have seen or heard that has suggested that these are problems that cannot be sorted out.
''I'm expecting that our teams will turn up in Delhi as announced and that the Games will go ahead as planned.''
Robertson said he remained confident that the Games would be remembered for the spectacle and sport rather than the problems with the preparations.
He added: ''I always suspected that this would come down quite close to the wire but I'm confident when we all get to Delhi they will lay on the most fantastic show.
''I will be very surprised and disappointed if we didn't all look back at two weeks of really good sport with Indian colour and excitement and vibrancy.
''For anyone like me who is lucky enough to be going I believe it will be a really memorable experience.''

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