London, Dec.30 (ANI): In what could be a major blow, England may pull out of the 2010 Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in New Delhi due to security reasons, as security advisors fear that the British players and athletes may be targeted by Pakistani militants during the event.
British police and security advisors said that the safety of the players cannot be guaranteed at present.
Although a formal decision on England's participation will not be taken until the new year, senior Whitehall sources said that there was "virtually no chance" a team would be sent, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"If you are an English athlete there is no way you are going to want to risk your life competing at the Games. We currently cannot see any way that England will be able to send a team to Delhi next year," said one of the sources.
It is worth mentioning here that Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, had visited New Delhi to inspect the security arrangements and preparedness, and is believed to have raised 'serious concerns' about the arrangements.
When asked about the issue, spokesman for the English Commonwealth Games organising body, Caroline Searle said that the team's participation was in jeopardy.
Searle stressed that athletes were looking forward to competing, but added: "We continue to monitor the security situation. We take guidance from the Metropolitan Police. We can't make a judgment until nearer the time. We have had briefings on security and we will decide when we know what the terror threat is going to be like."
England was planning to send almost 100 athletes to the Games, which are seen as an important preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London and can draw television audiences of more than a billion. (ANI)