Wednesday, 28 April 2010

CGE says 'yes' to Commonwealth Games

English athletes are given the go-ahead to travel to Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in October.

There had been speculation that the English team would pull out of the Games because of security fears.

But Commonwealth Games England (CGE) is set to write to all its sports governing bodies informing them that the team will go to India.

CGE has been receiving regular security updates from Delhi, and the assessment is that it will be safe to travel.

The Commonwealth Games, which open on 3 October, will be the biggest multi-sport event in India since the Asian Games in 1982 with 71 nations expected to take part.

Unlike the Olympic Games where Britain competes under the Team GB banner, there are separate teams for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at the Commonwealths.

Fresh concerns had been raised about the security situation in India after bomb blasts injured 15 people before an Indian Premier League cricket match in Bangalore on 17 April. But Sir Andrew Foster, the chairman of CGE, told the BBC: "England's intention is to compete at the Games and we are currently making arrangements to create the best possible environment for success in Delhi.

"Our team will be the biggest England team for an overseas Games to date, with an anticipated team size of more than 550, including nearly 400 athletes.

"Security is something we and the Delhi 2010 organising committee take very seriously. We have taken, and will continue to take, expert advice on the situation."

The current official Foreign Office advice is that there are "increased indications that terrorists are planning attacks in New Delhi".

Commonwealth Games England, though, is confident that athletes will be safe in India, and one senior official working for the Delhi organisers recently described the security plans as foolproof.

In March, Delhi hosted the Hockey World Cup without any problems.

Athletes will be told that if they are picked for the team they will be free to withdraw if they do not wish to take part in the Games.


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