Fennell Pleased with Big Nations Confirming Participation

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell said Friday he is pleased with the confirmations of Australia, England and Wales to participate in the Oct. 3-14 Games.

"I am certainly pleased to arrive in Delhi with the news that Australia has moved into the Village to get ready for the arrival of their athletes, and with the confirmation late yesterday that England and Wales will be on their way to Delhi shortly," said Fennell, who came here Thursday to review the progress.

"Already so many athletes from around the Commonwealth have started their journey to Delhi," said Fennell, who is taking stock of the Games Village Saturday.

Fennell said he has learned considerable progress was made in the Games Village.

"The briefing I received from my CEO, Mike Hooper, last night, was that considerable improvements have been made within the Village, with further significant resources deployed by Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs. Dikshit, to make good what was a concerning situation," Fennell said.

"Our job across the next week is to help ensure that all the corrective work is completed in good time.

"We must ensure that a suitable environment is provided to ensure the welfare of the athletes and their support staff.

"It is vital that all remedial work that has already started continues with the greatest urgency," Fennell said.

"I am looking forward to spending the morning with my colleagues from the Commonwealth Games movement and evaluating the situation with all the key stakeholders.

The first batch of England athletes arrived Friday morning but have chosen to stay in hotels. Around 150 Indian athletes shifted to the Games Village Thursday night and are satisfied with the facilities.

New Zealand, Canada and Scotland had delayed their trips after the Games Village was described as "unfit for human habitation" and a pedestrian overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and a portion of the false ceiling of the weightlifting venue collapsed.



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