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Hooper calls for end of Com Games war of words

Hooper calls for end of Com Games war of words

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper called on Suresh Kalmadi, the chief organizer of New Delhi 2010, to stop verbally attacking him Tuesday and instead focus on ensuring the event is ready on time.
Hooper and CGF president Mike Fennell are to sit down with Kalmadi in London for talks on speeding up work on venues on Wednesday, one day before Queen Elizabeth II launches the baton relay alongside the president and prime minister of India. The games are Oct. 3-14.
Two weeks ago, Kalmadi said Hooper was "of no use" and had been an "impediment" in the buildup of the games.
Hooper dismissed Kalmadi's "tirade" Tuesday, but says he is not at war with him and wants them all to focus on producing a top quality games.
"It's business as usual. We are all focusing towards a great games," Hooper told The Associated Press. "My message is: let's focus on the issues and play the ball not the man.
"I have no animosity towards Mr. Kalmadi. His heart is in the same place as mine and we all want to see a great games. I reject the inference that he made on that day, but I am not at war with Mr. Kalmadi. We are not in a battle. I hope that we put this nonsense behind us and all focus on what we have to do."
New Delhi was awarded the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games in November 2003, but organizers are now racing to try and get all the facilities completed in time. Repeated missed deadlines worried the CGF, and there are fears in India that the 71-nation event will end in chaos and embarrass the country.
At a time when Indian President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manhoman Singh are also in London, there are hopes that Wednesday's talks between the CGF and local organizers will be amicable and fruitful rather then divisive.
"There have been delays and there's a large amount of work to be done," Hooper said. "Let's focus on the issues, we have got to work together."


Updated : 2021-07-29 08:02 GMT+08:00