Worried Commonwealth Games chief to visit India

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New Delhi:  Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell will visit India next week to share concerns over the slow progress of New Delhi's preparations for next year's event, a statement said on Friday.

Fennell, who warned last month that the October 2010 Games in New Delhi were at "serious risk," will meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a six-day visit, the Federation statement said.

"With only one year to go, Fennell is intensely aware of the tight time line that faces the Delhi organisers," it said.

"Fennell will preside over meetings of the CGF's Executive Board and all member nations, and will look to advise them of agreed strategies to address the Federation's issues about Delhi's preparedness," it added.

The Games, the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in India since the Asian Games in 1982, feature 71 nations and territories that mostly comprised the former British empire.

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In a letter to the organising committee in September, Fennell had warned that construction delays had raised serious concerns over India's ability to host the Games.

But in Friday's statement, the CGF chief stressed that the situation could be salvaged.
"I know that Prime Minister Singh sees this as a matter of national pride and prestige for India. We still have a year to go, and it is possible to deliver a successful Games," he was quoted as saying.

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