Top-class security in India, says Games chief

Commonwealth Games chief dismissed security concerns over the event after being warned of attack.

Afp August 20, 2010

NEW DEHLI: Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell dismissed security concerns over the event after an Australian Olympic great warned of a Munich-style attack.

The remarks from Dawn Fraser referring to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, in which 11 Israelis were killed by Palestinian militants, were condemned in her own country and caused anger in India.

“Security has been on top of the agenda ever since we started preparations,” said Fennell.

“We held a security briefing for the participating nations in the end of July and I am happy to say there was an endorsement of the measures being taken by Indian authorities.”

Reacting to Fraser’s comments, Fennell said, “I don’t think Fraser knows what is happening in India and her comments have already been refuted in Australia.”

Australia’s Commonwealth Games chief rebuked 73-year-old Fraser, a triple Olympic 100-metre swimming freestyle champion, for her comments, which urged athletes to boycott the event.

Perry Crosswhite, who was in Munich in 1972 as a member of Australia’s basketball team, said Fraser was overplaying the threat.

“I don’t think Dawn’s been to Delhi recently and I don’t think she has the information we have. If she did I don’t think she would have made the comments she did,” said Crosswhite.

Fraser, in an interview with Australia’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper, warned about food and sanitation in New Delhi and implied the Indian authorities could not be trusted with security.

“I would hate to see another Munich, but with things getting worse and worse I have grave concerns. Can they prevent it?” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2010.


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