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IOA sole organising authority of 2010 Games: Kalmadi

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 7 (UNI) Claiming everything is hunky-dory with the Sports Ministry, Indian Olympic Associtation President Suresh Kalmadi today tried to play down revival of the Apex Committee and also asserted that the IOA will be the lone authority as far as organisation of the Commonwealth Games 2010 is concerned.

Addressing a press conference with Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) top brass by his side, Mr Kalmadi, Chairman of the 2010 Games Organising Committee, said there was no problem with anyone but organising the game is essentially the responsibility of the IOA.

CGF President Michael Fennell also threw his weight behind Mr Kalmadi and said it was IOA's prerogative to hold the event.

''I understand there would be inter-ministerial committee to ensure the departments work in tandem. But CGF wants to make clear that there is only one organising committee, that is headed by Mr Kalmadi. After all, it's the IOA which is accountable to CGF,'' he said.

The IOA chief, however, played down revival of the Apex Committee with Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar as its head and said, ''We have total coordination with all the stakeholders, including the Apex Committee. We are supposed to send them all the information regarding the Games and we are working together.'' ''Reports claimed I have boycotted the first meeting of the Apex Committee but actually I had gone Pune to receive Mr Fennell there.

''We have a Group of Ministers headed by Arjun Singh, a Group of Secretaries and an Apex Committee and all are working towards the same goal,'' he said.

He also announced that the CGF has cleared hosting of the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune.

''From October 12-18, 2008, 1200 athletes from 71 countries will vie for top honours in nine disciplines in Pune.

Mr Fennell, meanwhile, sounded satisfied with India's preparation for the 2010 Games.

''You have made good progress and I'm satisfied to see that things are moving in the right direction. But there are lot of critical issues which we need to discuss. Venue development, Games Village development, security, city services, transport, power and water supply -- these are the issues which would come up for discussion.

''We want an updated plan from the organisers which we would discuss in the November Board meeting in Kuala Lumpur. A Coordination Commission will also visit Delhi in November to monitor the progress,'' he said.

Mr Fennel, CGF CEO Mike Hooper and Vice President Tunku Imran met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit yesterday and are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later today.

''Tomorrow we will meet the Sports minister and then will visit the proposed Games Village site,'' Mr Fennel informed.

The Organising Committee of the 2010 Games, in its Executive Board meeting today, also appointed a risk management firm and a marketing agent.

UNI AY DH BST1811

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