Friday, October 29, 2010

UK media slams New Delhi

S Kalyana Ramanathan / London September 23, 2010

Popular and intellectual British media today uncharacteristically joined hands in conducting a full frontal attack on the state of preparedness of the upcoming Delhi Commonwealth Games, scheduled to commence in less than two weeks.

Both The Times and The Guardian raised doubts over the games organisers’ ability to meet the deadline set for October 3, when the games will be declared open.

The Guardian carried the picture of the bridge that collapsed near the main venue of CWG – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – injuring 27 workers with a provocative title. “Does this look ready to you?”.

The Times carried the story of the fiasco surrounding the games as the only story on page one with a title ‘Games crisis grows as British stars pull out’.

Even Business Secretary Vince Cable’s attacks on banks (which has a far more significant impact on the British economy) at his party’s annual conference was prioritised below the games story, highlighting Britain’s serious concerns over the Game’s preparedness.

The tabloid-styled Daily Mail reported three of England’s top athletes pulling out of the game “as the chaotic £1.5 billion event edged closer to being cancelled”. Earlier, Olympic 400m gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu, world champion triple jumper Philips Idowu and Commonwealth 1,500m champion Lisa Dobriskey said they were pulling out of the games, citing the collapse of the footbridge as the reason for their decision, Daily Mail reported.

UK’s most popular daily tabloid The Sun in a page 9 report dubbed the game as “Commonwealth shames”. Despite attempts by the organisers in fire fighting the media frenzy, the comment from Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fannell that it was the “biggest crisis in the Games’ history” helped in fuelling media speculation on the success of the games.

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