Delhi scrutiny increases

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"Come as a friend and return as family." Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi chairman Suresh Kalmadi held out this message to athletes and officials of the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories that will compete in the Games next month.

"Our slogan is 'Come as a friend and return as family', " he told the media after a tour of the Games Village in late–September 2010. "We are one big family and we will take care of everyone. "Kalmadi said the cleaning process in the towers in the residential zone is already on. "Work is something that will keep happening till the end of the Games. We all have to work to make things possible. There is some work yet to be done but it would be completed, " he said. "It rained so much and hence the water logging had to happen. But today being a bright sunny day, the water has receded and rest has been pumped out. Hopefully, sunny days lie ahead. "Asked if the pullout by a few star foreign athletes, citing health and security concerns, was a setback to the Games, he said, "I am sure lot of world champions are coming and new champions would be made here. "Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell has confirmed that all 71 countries will take part in the event despite the criticism that has still been coming from some of the delegations. According to the Press Association, Team England sources said conditions at the Athletes' Village are still "far from perfect" and what had the potential to be a five–star accommodation was "about three–start at the moment". The chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, said the Athletes' Village will be ready on Wednesday 29 September 2010. Responding to criticism from his own country's Olympic committee, Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive officer Mike Hooper allegedly told New Zealand media that his organisation could not be held responsible for the failure of the Games organising committee and the local government agencies to meet deadlines. However, following the reaction in India, Hooper retracted his comments telling local newspaper Times Now that the CGF has "the responsibility just like any stakeholder [of the Games]. " Fennell subsequently issued a statement, defending Hooper. He said: "Hooper has also been wrongly criticised in some areas of the media today for comments he made on Television New Zealand that were reported as being critical of the Indian Government. Far from any emotive commentary, Mr Hooper merely stated the fact that the responsibility for delivering and operating the Games lies with authorities in India, as per the Host City contract. What I have witnessed today is a viscous and totally unwarranted attack on Mr Hooper based on entirely false reports. Mike Hooper has my full support. He has always worked tirelessly for the good of the Games. Now it is time for us all to concentrate on delivering a good Games, for the athletes of the Commonwealth and the people of India. "

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