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Aus chief sees ulterior motive behind criticism of Delhi Games

August 16, 2010 10:15 IST

Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite, who was a strong critic of India's preparedness for the CWG for a long time before changing stance, says he suspects constant criticism of the Games' organisers a part of a concerted campaign to stop or relocate the event from Delhi.

He said there could be ulterior motives behind the wave of criticism of the Games and suggested that the local media has fuelled the anti-Delhi campaign.

"... you shouldn't just push for getting the Games cancelled. A lot of people out there I think are trying to do that. I am not sure what it is ... I don't think that's right. I don't think it's fair to the Indians. I don't think it's fair to the Commonwealth Games or to the athletes," Crosswhite was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

Crosswhite did not identify whom he believed was behind moves to derail the Games, but suggested reporting by the local media had fuelled the issue.

"Their media is just unbelievable. They are crucifying each other. There is nothing we can do about that," he said.

While recognising that much of the infrastructure remained unfinished just 47 days before the Games are due to begin, Crosswhite said many facilities are world-class.

"The athletes' village is one of the best villages the athletes have ever stayed at. They have quality apartments, two athletes to a bathroom - we have never had that before," he said.

"Sometimes people just ignore all that and see there is a bunch of rubble outside this venue and say that this is pretty hopeless. I don't think that is necessarily right, nor fair. There have been a lot of Games - Commonwealth and Olympic - which at this point of time hadn't looked all that flash," he added.

He applauded Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's creation of an empowered committee headed by Cabinet Secretary to oversee the Games following allegations of widespread corruption.

"Hopefully, that will bring the diverse areas together," he said.

Crosswhite said the security and the safety levels for Australian athletes are acceptable as of now.

"We have said to the athletes all along it's their decision if they go or not. My own feelings are that the security and safety levels are acceptable. We have gone through the Australian government on this. We will continue to do that each week," he said.

"I had discussions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (on Friday). That is where we are going to take our lead from as far as any change to our position. At this stage, we are on track to go."

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