England likely to pull out of Commonwealth Games?

December 30th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 30 (IANS) England could pull out of next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi over fears that their athletes would be targeted by Pakistani terrorists, a newspaper said Wednesday.
England’ security officials fear that their athletes’ safety cannot be guaranteed at present. England was planning to send almost 100 athletes to the Games in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, visited the Indian capital earlier this month to inspect the Games sites and was said to have voiced “serious concerns” about the security arrangements.

“If you are an English athlete there is no way you are going to want to risk your life competing at the Games. We currently cannot see any way that England will be able to send a team to Delhi next year,” the daily quoted an unnamed source as saying.

Caroline Searle, a spokesman for the English Commonwealth Games, said that the body is continuing to monitor the security situation.

“We take guidance from the Metropolitan Police. We can’t make a judgment until nearer the time. We have had briefings on security and we will decide when we know what the terror threat is going to be like,” Caroline was quoted as saying by the daily.

The Commonwealth Games, featuring 71 nations and territories, was expected to be the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in India since the Asian Games in 1982.

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