Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has accused the games’s CEO, Mike Hooper, of being useless and asked for his repatriation.
<b1>“Hooper, who has been with us for the past two years, has not proved beneficial to the organising committee,” Kalmadi said on Thursday. “He was of no use and has been an impediment to the committee’s functioning.”
Hooper (50), a Kiwi, is chief of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Kalmadi, also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president, said the CGF had been asked to replace Hooper immediately and “send somebody who can be useful to us”.
The IOA pledged full support to CGF president Michael Fennell, who on Monday had asked India get its act together before it became too late.
Hooper expressed his disappointment at the “personal attack”. “Mr Kalmadi’s attack was not necessary,” he said. “I 100 per cent refute being an impediment.”
Officials said the games’s organising committee was spending up to Rs 12 lakh to meet Hooper’s accommodation and travel expenses. “He was staying at a farmhouse in Kapashera in south-west Delhi,” said an organising committee official. “His two-year tenure has cost the committee Rs 2.9 crore.” The official said Hooper’s reports to the CGF had been misleading.
The IOA also rejected Fennell’s proposal of forming a technical review panel to oversee preparations for the October 2010 games.