Gill hopes to defuse CWG tension on London visit

Kalmadi-Hooper spat should not have happened, says Minister


MS Gill

“Whatever has happened is not right and shouldn’t have happened,” Gill told reporters at the airport here after arriving from Kochi.

“I just want to say that on October 29, I am going to London for the Queen’s Baton Relay. There, I will talk to Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell and Kalmadi, and try to resolve the matter. I will listen to both sides,” he said. Kalmadi and Hooper have been engaged in a ugly public spat with the OC chairman demanding that CGF call back Hooper from Delhi. Kalmadi said the New Zealander was of ‘no use’ and has been an ‘impediment’ to the Organising Committee’s functioning.

Hooper, on his part, has struck a defiant pose after getting the CGF’s backing, insisting that he would not leave Delhi.

Speaking on the controversy-mired build-up to the Games, Gill said despite concerns about the tardy pace of preparations, Delhi would host the event successfully.

“We are confident of holding a successful Games and even the Prime Minister has assured Fennell that the country will organise a successful Games,” Gill said.

“Fennell has raised some questions about the functioning and management of this organising committee. Those issues have been addressed and we have made certain changes in the management. We have done the required work,” he added.

Gill said three new officials of cabinet rank would be inducted in the committee soon.

“We have appointed Jarnail Singh as the new CEO for the organising committee and three more senior officers of cabinet rank will also join soon. Among them will be a Chief Financial Officer, who will look after all Games-related issues. The management issues have been addressed. All preparations are going on as planned,” he added.

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