Australia Says Games Security 'Extensive and Well Organised'

Sydney/New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS): Finally there is some appreciation for the beleaguered Commonwealth Games organisers from visiting teams. After reaffirming his country's committment to the Commonwealth Games, Australia Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) chief Perry Crosswhite Thursday said he is satisfied with the security situation for the Oct 3-14 Games.

Crosswhite, who is in New Delhi as part of the advance teams from member countries, wrote a letter to the 400-strong Australian team from Delhi reassuring that the security at the Village and the other venues is acceptable.

"Overall, the impression gained by myself and our team headquarters members is that Games security is extensive and well organised at the Games village," Crosswhite was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

"From all reports this is the same situation at the Games venues and the airport and along the transport routes.

"Our position regarding Games security remains unchanged and we believe the security risk position for our team is at an acceptable level."

Crosswhite said that view was supported by the security advisors to his association, the federal government and the Games federation.

On the issue of cleanliness at the Games' Village, Crosswhite wrote he is confident the athletes' accommodation will be acceptable by the time athletes start arriving Monday.

"Essentially the newly constructed apartment blocks did not have the level of finishing which was expected, and many of the rooms and bathrooms had not been cleaned adequately," Crosswhite said in his letter to all Australian team members.

"Also, because of the current monsoon conditions, water had entered the building in a number of places."

"We are having all apartments professionally cleaned and we are confident that these will be in acceptable condition."

Amid all the controversy, Crosswhite's committment towards the Games comes as a relief to the organisers. He said that no other athletes apart from Samuels had expressed the intention to pull out.

"At this stage no other team members have expressed their intention to withdraw from the Australian team due to safety concerns," Crosswhite said.

Earlier, Australia's world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels pulled out of the Games citing safety and health concerns.

The Games organisers have faced severe criticism in the last three days after a pedestrian overbridge collapsed outside the main Games' venue Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Tuesday, followed by the tiles coming off from the ceiling of the weightlifting venue Wednesday.

Teams such as Scotland and New Zealand haved delayed their departure plans for Delhi and will take the call on their participation only after the Games' Village is declared fit and liveable for takeover.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell will arrive in Delhi later today to take stock of the situation.


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Title: Australia Says Games Security 'Extensive and Well Organised'

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