Hooper has CGF support

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Calls by the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee for the removal from Delhi of the Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, Mike Hooper, have been rejected. It appears that the former is not overly–enamoured with Hooper and does not appreciate having to take guidance from an 'outsider'.

Speaking from his home back in Jamaica after his recent visit to India, CGF president, Michael Fennell, said that Hooper has a vital role to play with the Delhi Games. " We are naturally very surprised and disappointed in receiving this request to remove Mr Hooper from Delhi given his unquestionable commitment to the successful celebration of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, " Fennell said. " I have responded to Mr Kalmadi's letter and public statements in writing, recording that Mr Hooper enjoys the full support of the CGFs Executive Board, and that he is an outstanding chief executive and leader of the CGF management team. "He is totally dedicated to the Commonwealth Games movement and we consider that such a personal attack on him is unwarranted. "Instead of attacking Mr Hooper, I urge the Organising Committee to focus on the issues raised by us in Delhi following our General Assembly on Monday, and to commit to working collaboratively with all stakeholders on addressing these matters with urgency. "That is the strong commitment of the CGF Board, Mr Hooper and his staff. "I made it clear when I was in Delhi that time is short, that no day can be wasted. "We will implement the Technical Review Panel as detailed, and urge the organising committee to embrace the use of Games experts to fast track systems required for the Games operation. "The hiring and use of foreign expertise is standard practice for major Games, such as occurred in Beijing and as is occurring in Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Games. "This is now considered best–practice with organising committees of major international multi–sport events. "The goal is to conduct a Commonwealth Games that India can be proud of, setting itself up for other Games in the future, so as to take advantage of its new sporting infrastructure. "That goal also remains the CGF's total focus, and Mr Hooper is charged with working in partnership with the Organising Committee and other stakeholders towards achieving this. I note Mr Hooper has reaffirmed this position and I thank him for his commitment to the success of the Games. However, Kalmadi is remaining unrepentant and speaking to NDTV, he said: " They (the CGF) are more than welcome to keep him (Hooper), I have just said not to keep him in India, as we can't concentrate when he is around. "

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