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No pull out, say England C'wealth Games officials

Source: PTI
December 30, 2009 11:15 IST
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Dismissing reports that England is all set to pull out of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, officials in London insisted that there is no such move and a team will definitely travel to India for the mega event.

A report in The Daily Telegraph claimed that "England is poised to pull out of next year's Commonwealth Games over fears that athletes will be victims of a terrorist attack". It further said that Sir 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.

However, England general team manager Ann Hogbin dismissed the reports, saying the authorities have not advised them against travelling to India.

"That is definitely not the case. Our current and strong intention is to field a team for the games in Delhi next year," Hogbin told Associated Press.

"Of course, we have a duty of care to the athletes and other team members which we take very seriously.

"Despite having been given extensive briefings from relevant authorities, we have not received any indication that we should not participate in the Games and we will continue to work hard to put in place the best possible arrangements for our team," Hogbin added.

Britain's Foreign Office also told the AP that it has "not advised any of the British teams not to participate in the Commonwealth Games".

"We are aware that the Commonwealth Games Federation had some concerns about preparations for the games. We continue to work closely with the Indian authorities who are doing everything they can to ensure a safe and secure games," the statement added.

A host of England star performers, including double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington, World champion diver Tom Daley and Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist are expected to participate in the Games, scheduled for October 3-10.

Early this year, England's badminton team had pulled out of the World Championships in Hyderabad, citing security concerns, and Australia also refused to play a Davis Cup tie in Chennai.

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