Australia says the Delhi Commonwealth Games athletes village is substandard and New Zealand believes the problem could force the Games to be called off.


Irate New Zealand officials joined the CGF on Tuesday in demanding immediate fixing of problems at the village for the October 3-14 Games.

The federation said the tawdry state of the village had shocked many nations, and implored the Indian government to take urgent corrective action.

Australia is one of five nations to air concerns about the village “at the highest possible level”, New Zealand officials said on Tuesday.

Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said Indian organisers “have got two days to do what is probably going to take about two weeks” to fix the village.

“It’s probably not up to western standards,” Moneghetti told reporters in Melbourne.

“I was the mayor of the village in Melbourne (in 2006) and we had an outstanding village and maybe it’s not going to have quite the finish of that, but hopefully it will be suitable for the athletes.”

Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite is staying in the village, due to open to athletes on Thursday, and had told Moneghetti of widespread concerns.

But Crosswhite, who was not immediately available for comment, believed the village would be “okay” for Australia’s 600-strong team of athletes and officials, Moneghetti said.

“When I spoke to Perry yesterday he said there were some furnishings, some problems with the information technology that he was concerned about … but he didn’t seem that concerned about the overall condition of the village itself,” Moneghetti said.

New Zealand, along with Canada, Scotland and Ireland, described the accommodation as “unliveable”.

New Zealand’s team had been shifted from their planned accommodation block, which remained blighted by construction waste and issues surrounding cleanliness, plumbing and wiring.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie said the “grim” state of the village raised the prospect of the Games being cancelled.

“If the village is not ready and athletes can’t come, obviously the implications of that are that it’s not going to happen,” Currie told New Zealand radio station NewstalkZB on Tuesday.

“I think they are in severe difficulties … it’s going to be extremely hard to get across the line.”

“CGF president Mike Fennell on Tuesday said the condition of the village outraged officials from many nations.

“Many issues remain unresolved,” Fennell said in a statement.

“Many nations that have already sent their advanced parties to set up within the village have made it abundantly clear that … the Commonwealth Games village is seriously compromised.

” … The condition of the residential zone has shocked the majority … significant operational matters remained unaddressed.”

Fennell has demanded the Indian government immediately deploy resources to fix problems, without elaborating on the specific nature of the issues.

Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales and Canada had expressed their concerns “at the highest possible level,” New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) chairman Mike Stanley said.

“What they are frustrated by is not enough action, not enough quick action, to see that, between the time we have now and the athletes coming into the village, or even the opening of the Games, things are going to be ready.”