Delhi 2010 fears downplayed

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Commonwealth Games England will make a final decision on its participation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in September, but currently has no major security concerns over the Delhi event.

A report had quoted a senior government source saying there was "virtually no chance" an England team would be sent to India. However, while admitting security is of paramount concern, England's chef de mission Craig Hunter is optimistic the XIX Commonwealth Games, which are scheduled to take place from 3–14 October will be a success. "Obviously we've been looking at security as one of the most important factors in determining whether the team will participate next October, " Hunter said. "It's something that we will make a decision about once we have the appropriate intelligence. But at this point in time we've not seen anything that would suggest we would not be participating and we continue to be very excited about the prospects of participating in Delhi next year. "Commonwealth Games England has been in regular discussions with the British High Commission in Delhi, the Metropolitan Police, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as fellow home nations Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey over security in India. "I would suggest we'll be making a judgement as to whether it's appropriate to compete, probably at the beginning of September, " said Hunter. "An awful lot of things happen in nine months. We will take the intelligence that's given and we will be in discussions at the highest level with the appropriate authorities. If they were to say to us in their opinion it was inappropriate for us to compete, then we would have to take that very, very seriously and make that judgement call. "A withdrawal of England would likely see all the home nations drop out. Such a move would put the Games itself in jeopardy, but Hunter is certain the organisers are doing everything possible to ensure a successful staging of the event. Hunter, who visited Delhi last October, added: "At no point during the 18 days did I feel any sense of threat or uncertainty working down the street. Terrorism is never very far away, unfortunately, but at this moment in time, in terms of the Commonwealth Games, we see no reasons why we won't be competing. "He added: "I think the Indian government and the organising committee recognise that this is a very, very prestigious event for them. They're looking to have a great sporting spectacle and recognise that security is paramount – and not just from a UK perspective, but we've been talking to our colleagues in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and everybody shares concerns. But everybody is very realistic and our starting point is that we're all going to go, have a great Games and can't wait to be there. " Last month saw Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Co–ordination Commission chairman Austin Sealy praise Delhi's recent progress in preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has issued its 2018 Candidate City Manual, the start of the formal process to determine which city hosts the 21st Commonwealth Games. The document has been sent to all 70 Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs). CGAs and Candidature Cities have until 31 March 2010, to notify the CGF of their intention to bid. That starts a formal process of information exchange, with final bids to be lodged by 11 May 2011, six months before the CGF General Assembly meets in St Kitts and Nevis to award the rights to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The 2018 Candidate City Manual is available on the CGF website at:http://www. thecgf. com/games/bid. aspAbout 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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