The Commonwealth Catastrophe

September 24, 2010

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are under threat in New Delhi as a number of countries threaten to pull out from the games amidst accusations of unfit conditions surrounding the facilities in India.   A handful of athletes from Canada and Britain have already pulled out from the games citing health  and security concerns surrounding the athletes village and various other venues.  With individual pullouts in cycling, swimming, and archery things are not looking good for the opening of the games.  In addition countries like Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand have threatened to pull out from the games all together if health and security issues are not quickly addressed.

To say that the games are under threat is an understatement .  The games scheduled to start on Oct 3 may have to go ahead without some major players if it goes ahead at all.   Should mass pullouts occur it is almost assured that the games themselves will be cancelled.  The fact that the games are already hanging over such a precipice is already a black eye for Indian officials who are working overtime to get facilities up to standards before the games opening.  However there is now a real question as to whether the games should have been awarded to India at all. 

The games where awarded to New Delhi in 2003 and they have had seven years to prepare the way for the start of the games. With all the problems its leading some to question whether or not the games should have been awarded to the Indian city at all.  With the likes of Australia’s Olympic Committee President John Coates saying that the “games shouldn’t have been awarded to Dehli in hindsight” there is little wonder that these Commonwealth Games are being surrounded in controversy before they even begin.

Despite all this it seems likely that the games will go ahead.  Quite simply the Commonwealth nations have expected as much and the Indian government is going full bore to see their concerns addressed.  However if the games do fail there can be little doubt that not only will the controversy increase but questions will be raised as to why Hamilton Ontario was not granted the hosting duties in this 80 year old competition.

If India was incapable of providing for all the necessities of the games given their seven year lead time there seems little doubt that the same problems occurring would have occurred in Canada.  Fiscally Canada is in a much stronger position to host such a games as the recent hosting of the G8 and G20 summits with their billion dollar price tag has demonstrated.  Furthermore Canada has none of the domestic security issues demonstrated recently by the violence seen in New Delhi in recent weeks.  Despite all this, as John Coates has pointed out, hindsight is always 20/20 and while the games perhaps would have been better placed in Canada this year there is no turning back now.  Thankfully the Indian government has been responsive to all the concerns raised by competing nations and with any luck the games will go ahead as scheduled even if it is without a few of its top competitors.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: