Doubts over athletes' village delays Scotland departure

Doubts over athletes' village delays Scotland departure

Team Scotland have delayed the departure of their first athletes to the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh confirmed today.

Amid concerns over the readiness of the athletes’ village in Delhi, Scotland’s first party of 41 athletes and staff in the sports of boxing, rugby sevens and wrestling will now not be travelling tomorrow as previously scheduled.

Cavanagh said: “By delaying the arrival of our athletes by a few days, we hope to give the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee the necessary time to address the concerns that have been raised by both the Commonwealth Games Federation and the countries which arrived early.”

The Commonwealth Games, due to take place from October 3 to 14, is an event which has been riddled with security concerns, controversy and construction delays.

There are real fears some nations may pull out of the Games due to the “filthy” state of accommodation on offer in the athletes’ village, with competitors and team officials due to be arriving this week.

CGS sent out an advanced party and successfully lobbied to be moved from their allocated accommodation block, which was deemed sub-standard.

However, together with England, Wales, New Zealand and Canada, who all had arrived early, Scotland expressed their concerns to the local organising committee, with 6,500 athletes and team staff from 71 nations set to arrive imminently.

Cavanagh reiterated his call for “urgent action” to be taken by the local organising committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation, but insisted Scotland are determined to participate in the event.

He added: “We have discussed this with the sports involved and are in agreement that this is the best course of action under the circumstances.

“Whilst this is an untimely alteration to their plans, it will ultimately cause less disruption to their final training and preparation than if they were to arrive in the Games Village which is not yet fit for purpose and fully functional.

“Scotland is hugely committed to the Commonwealth Games.

“Our team on the ground will continue to monitor the situation, however we will not compromise on areas of athlete health, safety and security.

“We need urgent action from the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Delhi Organising Committee to address these crucial issues.”

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