NEW DELHI // Organisers of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games have made fresh assurances that the event will be subject to tight security after reports there was "virtually no chance" England will send their team next year. Suresh Kalmadi, head of the 2010 organising committee, said yesterday: "Providing security and a safe and secure environment for the athletes, visiting officials and tourists for the Commonwealth Games 2010 would be top priority for the Indian government, Delhi administration and the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games."
Kalmadi's statement came hours after England's Commonwealth Games officials said they had received no security warnings to indicate the team must withdraw from the New Delhi event next year because their athletes could be targeted by terrorists. The England general team manager, Ann Hogbin, denied a story in yesterday's Daily Telegraph in the UK which claimed there was "virtually no chance" an England team would be sent.
The report quoted unnamed political sources as saying that the formal pull-out would be announced in the new year because safety could not be guaranteed. Kalmadi said that security plans for the games, scheduled for October 3 to 14 next year, had already been discussed with India's home ministry and all the Commonwealth games associations "were satisfied with the security arrangements outlined for the games".
Security for the games has been under scrutiny since last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Safety concerns and lax security were cited this year when England's badminton team pulled out of the world championships in Hyderabad. * AP