England won't pull out of CWG: Kalmadi

Updated: 30 December 2009 11:33 IST

Suresh Kalmadi dismissed media reports that England are set to withdraw from the Games fearing terror strikes and said athletes worldwide need not worry about t

England won't pull out of CWG: Kalmadi

New Delhi:

Commonwealth Games Oraganising Commitee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Wednesday dismissed media reports that England are set to withdraw from the Games fearing terror strikes and said athletes worldwide need not worry about their security during the mega event.

A report in the Daily Telegraph claimed that England will announce their withdrawl from the 2010 Delhi Games due to security risks but Kalmadi said the Commonwealth Games Federation and even British officials rather than being critical have lauded the security arrangements.

He said the British Foreign Office and the England team manager have denied any such development.

"We have not received any official intimation to this effect, and in fact the British Foreign Office as also the statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has emphasised that it has not advised any of its teams not to compete in next year's Commonwealth Games on security grounds," Kalmadi said in a statement.

"Providing security and a safe and secure environment for the athletes, visiting officials and tourist for Commonwealth Games 2010 would be top priority for the Indian Government, Delhi Administration and the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi," he said.

Kalmadi said the Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell and the CGF Coordination Committee have recently lauded the efforts made by the OC on the security front.

"Mr. Mike Fennell, President, Commonwealth Games Federation and the Coordination Committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation in its audit, earlier this month, were satisfied with the preparations of Delhi Police in ensuring the secure conduct of the Games", Kalmadi said.

"The Security Commanders meeting was held at the Home Ministry recently and all Commonwealth Games Associations were satisfied with the security arrangements outlined for the Games."

The OC chief said even the 2012 London Olympic Games chief Lord Sebastian Coe and CoCom member Perry Crosswhite of Australia, who was earlier critical of the Games preparations, have therown their weight behind.

"Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman London, 2012, has also thrown his weight behind the security arrangements for Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010", he said.

Meanwhile, England General Team Manager Ann Hogbin has denied any pull out of from the Games over security risks.

"That is definitely not the case. Our current and strong intention is to field a team for the Games in Delhi next year," said Hogbin in a statement.

"Of course, we have a duty of care to the athletes and other team members which we take very seriously. Despite having been given extensive briefings from relevant authorities we have not received any indication that we should not participate in the Games and we will continue to work hard to put in place the best possible arrangements for our team."

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