CWF organisers reject independent panel

IOA calls for the removal of CEO Mike Hooper

CWF organisers reject independent panel

Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 chairman Suresh Kalmadi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI

Taking a tough stand after coming under a scathing attack for its tardy preparations for the Games, miffed organisers sought the removal of the mega-event’s Chief Executive officer Mike Hooper with immediate effect, saying the Kiwi official was “of no use” despite being in the capital for the past two years.

Hit by delays and infighting, the build-up to the October 3-14 Games is set to be even more troubled with the public spat between the organisers and its parent body.

The Indian Olympic Association, at its Executive Committee meeting last evening, felt the monitoring panel was not needed and also questioned Hooper’s role in preparing for the event.

Hooper himself reacted with shock and said the organisers were turning their backs on the real issues facing the Games by focussing on trivial matters. “I am very disappointed to hear the comments made by Mr Kalmadi today. It’s his view. I view that my role here has been independent in the last two years,” Hooper said.

“It seems to be a position of not addressing the real issues. Launching a personal attack was most unfortunate. To me it’s unfortunate and totally inappropriate,” he added.

The IOA recommended that the Organising Committee ask the CGF to strengthen the Co-ordination Commission (CoCom) by adding technical experts to it so that the authority of the CoCom is not diluted.

“We don’t want multiplicity of agencies, there are already agencies, including the Co-ordination Commission, which are monitoring the Games preparations,” IOA President and Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi told reporters here. “We will suggest the CGF to add technical experts in the Co-ordination Commission instead of forming another body,” he said.

“Mike Hooper has not been beneficial to us. He was of no use and has been an impediment to the functioning despite spending two years here. So we have asked the CGF to replace him immediately and in his place send somebody who can be useful to us,” Kalmadi said. IOA Secretary-General Randhir Singh expressed astonishment over CGF’s decision to form a technical panel.

Expressing satisfaction over the present pace of Games preparations, Kalmadi assured that everything will be put in place as per the Master Games Schedule laid down by the CGF before the Co-ordination Commission’s visit on December 14.

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