Commonwealth Games Organizers Behind on Preparations for Athletes’ Arrival, Forcing Some Countries to Consider Withdrawing

NEW DELHI, India, September 21. A bridge collapse at the site of the 2010 Commonwealth Games today was just one incident that has a few countries doubting the host country's ability to have facilities ready for the athletes' arrival for an Oct. 3 start date.

According to a report in The Associated Press, officials from New Zealand are threatening to withdraw the country from the Games if organizers of the event do not make facilities in the athletes' village livable by the time athletes begin arriving, which is expected to be as early as Thursday.

"In the time frame that is left, unless there is tremendous effort and energy and problem-solving ability to get it done, it's going to be extremely hard to get across the line," Currie told New Zealand radio network newstalkZB. "If the village is not ready and athletes can't come, obviously the implications of that are that (the event) is not going to happen."

Adding to the issues with poor plumbing and general cleanliness, organizers are dealing with the collapse of a bridge that connected a parking lot with the JawaHarlal Nehru Stadium – the site of the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field competition. The Associated Press reports that 23 workers were injured in the collapse.

Earlier this year, Australian officials had voiced concerns about security surrounding the Commonwealth Games, advising families of many athletes to stay home. But today's announcement by New Zealand is the first time a nation has threatened to keep its athletes away from the Games, considered the second-largest athletic competition after the Olympics for most of the Commonwealth countries.

Full text of The Associated Press article.

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