Games chiefs ‘warned of concerns’ six months ago

MIKE HOOPER, the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, has revealed he raised concerns over the athletes’ village six months ago.

Organisers are still working on the much-criticised Games accommodation as competitors from around the world arrive in Delhi for the event, which starts on Sunday. Members of Team England’s support staff spent last night in the village to prepare the ground for the first batch of 48 athletes to join them today.

But the row over the cleanliness and quality of the facilities rumbles on, with new photographs of dirty rooms appearing in the Indian media yesterday. Hooper insists he has been pressurising organisers to speed up the work since early in the year.

“When we viewed [the village] in March it was clear it was a massive work in progress and a lot of work had to be done,” he said. “All the warning signs were there. We were pushing very hard, we kept pushing. You can lead a horse to water; you can’t make it drink. These people just did not understand, or seem to accept the magnitude of the problem.

“There were consistently missed deadlines. The government agencies have let everybody down over here as regards meeting those deadlines.”