Simply in no mood to oblige the Organising Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation on Friday made it clear that it would neither remove CGF chief executive Mike Hooper nor would backtrack on its plan to have a Technical Review Panel to monitor preparation for the 2010 Games.
CGF president Michael Fennell advised the OC to focus more on the work at hand, rather than seeking someone's removal while also criticising the organisers' "personal attack" on Hooper.
"We are naturally very surprised and disappointed in receiving this request to remove Mr Hooper from Delhi given his unquestionable commitment to the successful celebration of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi," Fennell said from Jamaica.
"I have responded to Mr. Kalmadi's letter and public statements in writing, recording that Mr Hooper enjoys the full support of the CGF's Executive Board, and that he is an outstanding Chief Executive and leader of the CGF management team. He is totally dedicated to the Commonwealth Games movement and we consider that such a personal attack on him is unwarranted," the miffed CGF president said in a statement.
"Instead of attacking Mr Hooper, I urge the Organising Committee to focus on the issues raised by us in Delhi following our General Assembly on Monday and to commit to working collaboratively with all stakeholders on addressing these matters with urgency," he said.
"Mr Hooper is charged with working in partnership with the Organising Committee and other stakeholders towards achieving this. I note Mr Hooper has reaffirmed this position and I thank him for his commitment to the success of the Games," Fennell said.
OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi has also opposed the CGF proposal to have a Technical Review Panel, saying there was no need for a separate monitoring agency but Fennell asserted the panel was a must if Delhi had to fast-track its preparation.
"We will implement the Technical Review Panel as detailed, and urge the Organising Committee to embrace the use of Games experts to fast track systems required for the Games operation," he said.
Fennell also articulated why it was necessary to have foreign consultants, saying, "The hiring and use of foreign expertise is standard practice for major Games, such as occurred in Beijing and as is occurring in Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Games. This is now considered best-practice with Organising Committees of major international multi-sport events.
"The goal is to conduct a Commonwealth Games that India can be proud of, setting itself up for other Games in the future, so as to take advantage of its new sporting infrastructure," he added. PTI