Don't write off India, says Rogge

Rogge told the Associated Press that he hopes India can come through, just as Greek organisers overcame ‘doomsday scenarios’ to stage the successful 2004 Athens Olympics despite severe construction delays and political wrangling.

The International Olympic Committee leader will travel to New Delhi next week to attend the October 3 opening of the Commonwealth Games, which were put at risk this week by filthy conditions at the Athletes’ Village, a pedestrian bridge collapse and health and security concerns.

The chaotic preparations have seemingly doomed India’s hopes of bidding for the 2020 Olympics, but Rogge said it was too early to rule the country out.

“I think I can hardly make a judgment before the Games have even started,” Rogge said.

“Let’s give them the chance to prove they can stage good Games. It would be with a last-ditch effort and it probably would be costly, but let’s hope they can fulfil that.

“Hopefully, the Indians can pull out a last-ditch effort like the Greeks have done,” he said.

“It’s difficult to have a view before the Games have started,” Rogge said. “There is always a difference between the reality and the anticipation and perception. We had doomsday scenarios in Athens, and these were absolutely very good Games.The Greeks were able to pull out a very good effort. They were very, very good Games at the last moment, so this could happen in Delhi.”

Rogge defended Commonwealth Games Federation leaders for their oversight of the Games. “I don’t know where the potential issues came from. Is it in the chain of command? You can only have a judgment on that after the games.”

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