Commonwealth Games Crisis

English athletes hold on for Delhi

The England team remains "intent on going" to the Commonwealth Games in India despite being "very concerned" over the state of facilities, chairman Sir Andrew Foster said tonight.

Sir Andrew said the team still required assurances from organisers over the athletes' village and the games arenas.

He added that a final decision would have to be made over the next few days.

And he said "all options remain open".

The ultimate option would be pulling out of the tournament entirely but Sir Andrew said Team England was "not there yet".

He also said he expects that more English athletes may still choose to pull out of the games unilaterally.



CGE chairman Foster said in an interview that the England team remains "intent on going" to the Games despite being "very concerned" over the state of facilities.

Foster said the team still required assurances from organisers over the athletes' village and venues and that a final decision would have to be made over the next few days.

The ultimate option would be pulling out of the tournament entirely but Foster said Team England was "not there yet".

He also said he expects that more English athletes may still choose to pull out of the games unilaterally.



Earlier, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned today that "time is running short" for the chaos-hit Commonwealth Games, but stressed it was for athletes to decide whether to go to Delhi.

The England team have warned the event is on a "knife edge", with the next 24 to 48 hours critical to deciding whether to send its competitors.

Team Wales has already given the games' administrators a deadline of this evening to confirm all venues and the Games Village are fit for purpose, and the Scotland team has delayed its departure.

Several top athletes have already withdrawn, citing either injury or security fears. A footbridge to the main stadium collapsed yesterday and today part of the roof of the weightlifting venue fell in.

Mr Clegg told Sky News: "Of course, all of us want these games to be a success. All of us want the Commonwealth to celebrate its identity at these games.

"Time is running short. It's for athletes to decide themselves whether they want to attend or not, but I do hope we give the organisers the chance to sort themselves out so we give the games the chance to be the success they always wanted it to be."

The athletes' village has been condemned as "unfit for human habitation" but Indian officials have played down fears the event may not take place.

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit dismissed talk of abandoning the Games, dismissing recent events as "minor glitches".

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