Kalmadi charismatic but work needed different approach: Fennell | other | Hindustan Times
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Kalmadi charismatic but work needed different approach: Fennell

other Updated: Sep 26, 2010 23:35 IST
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The Commonwealth Games Federation president, Mike Fennell, said one of the major causes for disappointment among people in the build-up to the Games was ambitious promises made by the officials.

Talking to Karan Thapar at the CNN-IBN on Devil's Advocate, Fennell said: “One of the problems is ambitious promises made (by officials) without knowing how long preparations will take. That is what has disappointed people."

Despite repeated assurances by the Organising Committee, the Games Village remains a work in progress. “The cleaning up needs to be completed. There is water in the basement, elevators are not working and safety devices are not in place yet, but things are being done,” said Fennell. “They need to get rid of the stagnant water from the basements and that is taking longer than they had promised.”

When asked for his reaction on the Central Vigilance Commission's report in July, which mentioned fabricated test reports and substandard material used in quite a few of the venues, Fennell said: “We have taken the report very seriously and asked for usage certificates, and certificates of construction and integrity of the engineering. We have read those reports and gone through them with the authorities and have received the necessary assurances.”

On the Organising Committee's handling of the event, Fennell said: “I think there were a lot of weaknesses (inexperience and ineptitude)… Sometimes they did not quite understand the complexities of the requirements and they were a little reluctant to accept outside views.”

Fennell defended Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi's role as a leader, saying it was his charismatic presence that had won India the Games in the first place.

“There is no question that Mr Kalmadi is a very charismatic leader. He ran a very successful bid to win India the right to host the Games. But what went wrong thereafter was that preparations required a different approach altogether and this is something he also was learning as we went along,” Fennell said.