NEW DELHI, January 20. FIRST Canada and now India?
India's right to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games may be in jeopardy as wrangling between the sports ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has held up the formation of the organising committee for the prestigious extravanganza, The Times of India reported today.
In 14 months, the Indians have failed even to form an organizing committee, the deadline for which was December 31, 2003.
IOA general secretary Randhir Singh brought the matter into the open when he told a press conference that "the sports ministry can't decide who should be on the panel even though 14 months have lapsed since the Games were awarded to us." He suggested that the panel may have to be formed without consulting the government.
Recalling that the original deadline was December 31, 2003, he said that this was altered to December, 2004. "Any more delays and we can say bye-bye to the Games," Singh said.
The IOA has finally addressed the issue as Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennel will be here on an inspection tour on February 2. "Do we tell him (Fennel) that nothing has been done on the organisational front?" asked Singh.
According to The Times: "The tussle over who should head the organizing committee is being played out between sports minister Sunil Dutt and IOA chairman Suresh Kalmadi. The Centre feels that it is footing the bill, so it must call the shots which is obviously not to Kalmadi's liking. But while the centre dithers, Delhi Government too has been unable to meet its deadlines. All departments have been given a third deadline to ‘fine tune' their proposals and submit a report to the chief secretary (CS) S Regunathan by January 24."