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CGF bosses support Kalmadi

As the standoff between the IOA and the Sports Ministry continues, IOA president and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi received unequivocal support from the Commonwealth Games Federation's Coordination Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 06, 2010 12:58 AM IST

As the standoff between the IOA and the Sports Ministry continues, IOA president and Organising Committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi received unequivocal support from the Commonwealth Games Federation's Coordination Commission (CoCom) here on Wednesday.

Austin Sealy, CoCom president, described it as “a distraction that the Games can well do without”.

“It has come at an unfortunate time. The principal focus of the Commonwealth Games is sport, and so the timing is bad,” Sealy said.

With the new regulations restricting the tenure of Indian sports’ top bosses and creating a storm of controversies, Sealy and Co. (with CGF CEO Mike Hooper) said CGF bosses had also stayed in the top posts for over decades, and even more.

Sealy, who is also an IOC member, was elected to the Council of the Barbados Olympic Association in 1972, becoming the President in 1982, a position he held until 1996. He has been the treasurer of the CGF since 1986. And Mike Fennell, CGF president, has held on to the job for almost 30 years now.

“It will not affect India hosting the Commonwealth Games, but surely we are closely monitoring the situation,” he said.

The CoCom, making its seventh and final visit, made the right noises after visiting all the venues, from security being “well up to the mark” to hailing the “progress made by the OC since December 2009”.

With eight Test events in different disciplines being held till date, the CoCom members trotted out the much heard and well-rehearsed lines of “preparations in place” again.

After many delays and pushing deadlines, the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium will be finally ready on June 30, Hooper confirmed. And the Games Village will be put into use from September 16, merely a fortnight before the Games begin.

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