India says athletes’ village will be ‘excellent’

NEW DELHI: New Delhi’s Commonwealth Games organisers yesterday shrugged off criticism of the athletes’ village, saying they will provide an “excellent facility” for guests.

“I can assure everyone there is no cause for worry,” organising committee vice-chairman Randhir Singh told reporters.

“Delegates have praised the village as one of the best.”

He added: “We are working round the clock to take care of any problems. When the athletes arrive here they will find an excellent facility.”

Randhir Singh’s comments came after Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell demanded immediate action from the Indian government to fix what he called a “seriously compromised” village.

Advance parties from participating nations that have arrived in the Indian capital ahead of the Oct 3-14 Games have been “shocked” at what they have seen, Fennell said in a statement earlier yesterday.

The village is set to officially open tomorrow when hundreds of athletes from participating countries – mostly nations from the former British empire – are expected.

England’s chef-de-Mission Craig Hunter told the media last week that the village was better than the one at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“It is spectacular,” said Hunter, who is in New Delhi preparing for the arrival of England contingent on Sept 23.

“You should be proud of what you have got. Every Games Village has progressed and this sets a new standard.

“This village is better than the Beijing Olympics. You have given us a challenge for the London 2012.” — AFP

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