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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

CGF bluntly asks OC to bring more people to venues

PTI  New Delhi, October 06, 2010
First Published: 13:01 IST(6/10/2010) | Last Updated: 13:03 IST(6/10/2010)

Concerned by the poor attendance at the competition venues, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell on Wednesday bluntly told the Organising Committee to get more people into the stadium, saying it is a serious issue which needs to be resolved fast.

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Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi gave one-line answers when he was grilled by journalists regarding poor attendance at the stadiums while Fennell seemed to be taking the issue seriously as he interjected on a couple of occasions.

"We have discussed the issue (of poor attendance) with the OC, we have raised the question on how to get people packed at the stadium. Only the OC and Mr Kalmadi can answer all these questions ... we have put this on the agenda for further discussion," Fennell told a press conference at the Main Press Centre (MPC).

Kalmadi maintained that it was early days in the Games and with India picking up medals in many disciplines the interest of people will rise.

"We sold more than 50,000 tickets yesterday. The boxing and wrestling stadiums were packed yesterday. Now public interest is high with India picking five gold. There are queues in the stadiums. It will improve everyday. That only I can say," he said.

Kalmadi and Fennell had to face a volley of questions on the lack of interest from the people and the latter mostly diverted the queries to OC chairman, saying it's their responsibility and they would have to answer.

But when Kalmadi tried to evade a query of a scribe on the difficulty by people to get tickets without identity cards, Fennell interjected and said the issue is serious and more discussion is needed.

"There seemed to be problems in the ticketing issue. If people are not getting tickets then we will have to discuss about it more. We will discuss it with the OC," a visibly unhappy CGF chief said, while Kalmadi said the problem will be sorted out by tomorrow.

Kalmadi faced tough questions on the poor attendance at the Karni Singh shooting range where Indian Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang won gold on Tuesday.


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