Security concerns in India

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), organiser of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, is confident England's decision to withdraw from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad due to security concerns will not impact the 2010 event. England pulled out of the competition, which began on Monday in the southern Indian city, citing "specific terror threats" to the tournament. Its announcement on Sunday came just hours after India's Home Minister P Chidambaram refuted media reports there was a specific threat to the event. Randhir Singh, secretary–general of the IOA and vice–chairman of the Commonwealth Games executive board, does not foresee any further consequences for next year's Games. "I don't think England pulling out of the World Badminton Championships will have an impact on the Commonwealth Games, " Randhir Singh said. "We are in constant touch with other nations and they are satisfied by the assurances given by the government about security. We are sure every security precaution will be taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the Games. "IOA president Suresh Kalmadi had earlier said security for the Games would be foolproof. "Security for the Games is the responsibility of the Lieutenant Governor, the Home Ministry and the Delhi Police, " he said. "However, the Commonwealth Games Federation has its own security advisory company which has visited Delhi and given its report to the Governor. We also have security consultants working with us and also co–ordinating with the police. Surveillance and access control equipment for each venue shall be in place well before time. Conceptual security plans are being worked out and will be in place well before the Games. "Badminton England officials on Monday defended their controversial decision to withdraw their team from the World Championships. Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy denied they over–reacted after dropping out of the Hyderabad tournament following reports in an Indian newspaper of a terrorist threat. He said: " Of course we apologise to the federation and the organising committee in India. The last thing England would want to do is let down our host or our international federation. The decision doesn't affect how we feel about returning to India for the Commonwealth Games next year. " Christy added security levels surrounding the tournament were not of a high enough standard, with players stating they did not feel safe. The development is a further blow to Commonwealth Games officials after archery was last week the latest sport to be affected by the problems surrounding preparations for the 2010 Games in New Delhi after next month's Asian Grand Prix was moved due to venue delays. The archery competition will now be held in Kolkata from September 16 to 19 and is the latest event to be moved after the World Badminton Championships were transferred to Hyderabad for the same reason. In July, Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, dismissed speculation that New Delhi could be replaced as host of the 2010 Games by previous hosts Manchester or Melbourne. Hooper told The Sport Briefing: "The 2010 Commonwealth Games will be in Delhi next year and there has never been any suggestion, despite the Australian press speculation, that we've had secret discussions or put people on standby. It's simply not true. The Games will be here (in Delhi) and whatever the security envelope that is needed and required to facilitate the running of the Games in a secure environment will be put in place. " About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

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