Bring athletes,not officials: Gill

The Union government might be worried about the pullout of star players from the Commonwealth Games,but the Organising Committee says one or two withdrawls would not make any difference.

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: July 19, 2010 1:49:06 am

Does not matter if one or two star athletes don’t come,counters Kalmadi

The Union government might be worried about the pullout of star players from the Commonwealth Games,but the Organising Committee says one or two withdrawls would not make any difference. The Sports Ministry and the OC came out with completely contrasting viewpoints as Olympic Champions Usain Bolt,Shelly Ann Fraser and Chris Hoy announced that they would give a miss to the October 3-14 Games.

While Sports Minister M S Gill believes the Games would lose sheen if star players like Bolt would not compete,OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi is clear that it makes no difference if one or two players decide to skip the Games. “We have read in papers that this one is not coming,that one is not coming. Let me tell you that the biggest squad ever is coming from every country. Australia has confirmed 700 entries and England 500,their largest ever. If one or two do not come,it does not matter. The Games will go on,the best of the world are coming and new champions will be created,” Kalmadi said at the inauguration of the Swimming Complex.

However,Gill was very disappointed with the decision of the athletes and said he would ask CWG president Mike Fennell to bring those players to the Games and would also raise the matter at the meeting of the Sports Ministers of the Commonwealth nations on October 4. “Star athletes have slowly drifted away from the Games. It’s not at all good. I again request Mr Fennell to bring these stars here and not the thousands of officials. People want to see players not them. It’s a moral duty on the part of players to come and participate. I want ‘A’ list of players and not ‘B’ or ‘C’,” Gill said.

“I’ll raise this issue before them definitely. If these stars failed to turn up,then all our efforts stand waste. People will say that if only you and Suresh (Kalmadi) were to run then why you spent so much,” the minister said.

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