Gill meets Kalmadi, to talk to Fennell

Suresh Kalmadi and MS Gill

Kalmadi came to Gill's residence this morning where the Sports Minister took stock of the progress of preparations and discussed the contentious issues that have the OC and the CGF at loggerheads.

"I met Mr Kalmadi today and had a long discussion on all the matters. I will be talking to (CGF Chief) Mr Mike Fennell on telephone and will have a meeting with him, (CGF CEO Mike) Hooper and Mr Kalmadi in London on October 28," Gill said after the meeting.

"I am confident that all issues will be resolved and everyone will work in unison to ensure a very good Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year," the minister added.

The OC and the CGF seemed to have reached a deadlock over mainly two issues -- the necessity of a Technical Review Panel and Hooper's stay in Delhi.

Fennell, soon after the CGF general assembly earlier this month, made it clear that the organisers needed to pull up their socks and fast-track their preparations if the capital is to deliver on its commitment of putting on the best Commonwealth Games ever.

Fennell said the CGF had decided to set up a Technical Review Panel to monitor the progress, a suggestion that did not go down well with the OC with Kalmadi outrightly rejecting the idea. Hooper's presence remains another bone of contention with Kalmadi describing the CGF top official as an "impediment" to the capital's preparation and seeking his removal.

"I will ask Mr Fennell to depute someone who can work with us. That is all. We need someone who guides and encourages us and not confront us at all meetings,"  Kalmadi had earlier said in a statement.

The OC, meanwhile, has bluntly told Hooper not to come to the OC headquarters and work from home till, they hope, the CGF withdraws him. The CGF, however, has thrown its weight behind Hooper with Fennell saying that the official has the full support of the Executive Board.

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