CGF rejects Delhi OC demand to sack CEO Hooper

      The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Friday made it clear that it would not bend to the Delhi Games Organising Committee’s (OC) demand to remove its Chief Executive Officer Mike Hooper. The CGF also made it clear that there is no question of backtracking from its plan to have a Technical Review Panel to monitor preparation for the 2010 Games. CGF President Michael Fennell advised the OC to focus more on the work at hand, rather than seeking someone's removal. Fennel also criticised the OC for launching a personal attack on Hooper. On Thursday, Indian Olympic Association chairman Suresh Kalmadi described Hooper's two-year stint with the OC as useless and an impediment. Terming Hooper's tenure as not beneficial to the OC, Kalmadi said: ``Instead, he has only been an impediment to our functioning despite spending two years in the capital.” In a statement issued from Jamaica Fennel said: "We are naturally very surprised and disappointed in receiving this request to remove Mr Hooper from Delhi given his unquestionable commitment to the successful celebration of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi .” "I have responded to Mr. Kalmadi 's letter and public statements in writing, recording that Mr Hooper enjoys the full support of the CGF's Executive Board, and that he is an outstanding Chief Executive and leader of the CGF management team. He is totally dedicated to the Commonwealth Games movement and we consider that such a personal attack on him is unwarranted," Fennel stated. In his statement, Fennel advised the OC that instead of attacking Hooper, it should focus on the issues raised by the CGF during its recent visit to Delhi . He also advised the OC to commit itself to working collaboratively with all stakeholders in matters raised by the CGF with urgency. " Mr Hooper is charged with working in partnership with the Organising Committee and other stakeholders towards achieving this. I note Mr Hooper has reaffirmed this position and I thank him for his commitment to the success of the Games," Fennell said. On the other hand, Kalmadi said that he had not launched a personal attack on Hooper. On his part, Hooper said he was happy with the backing he was getting from the CGF and President Fennel . “I am very pleased that Mr. Fennel has endorsed my work here. I am pleased to be vindicated by Mr. Fennel ’s full support. Mr. Kalmadi and I need to work professionally and together. As long as we do that, I am sure we will achieve the common goal of the greater game of 2010” said Hooper. Earlier, Kalmadi had opposed the CGF’s proposal to have a Technical Review Panel, saying there was no need for a separate monitoring agency. Fennell, however, asserted that the panel was a must if Delhi had to fasttrack its preparation. "We will implement the Technical Review Panel as detailed, and urge the Organising Committee to embrace the use of Games experts to fast track systems required for the Games operation," he said. In his statement, Fennel also stressed on the necessity of having foreign consultants, as it’s a standard practice in organising a major international multi-sport event. "The goal is to conduct a Commonwealth Games that India can be proud of, setting itself up for other Games in the future, so as to take advantage of its new sporting infrastructure," Fennel emphasized.

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