PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee head Sir John Dawanincura has scheduled an executive meeting today in Port Moresby to deliberate on Team PNG’s participation at next month’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
This comes amid reports about India’s ability to provide athletes and officials an acceptable standard of security, accommodation and other services.
Already several countries have delayed their depatures after several incidents during the week which had put into question the quality of facilities and safety.
A footbridge collapsed at the main stadium and a partial cave-in of the ceiling at the weightlifting building has cast serious doubts on India’s level of preparation heading into one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
PNGSFOC secretary-general Sir John said yesterday he would sit with the federation’s executive and decide PNG’s involvement at the Commonwealth Games that had been plagued by corruption issues over the last 12 months.
“There will be a meeting of the federation’s executive tomorrow (today) and we will make a press release on the matter then,” Sir John said when asked about Team PNG’s plans.
Canada, Scotland and New Zealand have delayed the departure of their contingents while Australian sports minister Mark Arib had conceded that his country’s team could pull out if the situation deteriorated.
One of the main concerns raised by representatives of several nation’s who had sent forward parties was the standard of the games village which was described as “filthy” and “poor” by some visiting delegates.
Still the final decision might not be entirely up to team managements as athletes themselves would decide if the risks are worth taking.
Jamaica’s sprint king Usain Bolt has opted out of the games as has Australian female discuss thrower Dani Samuels. This could cause a ripple-effect prompting other athletes to pull out.
Arib said yesterday that the decision on whether or not to travel or compete was for the for only individual athletes to make.
“In the end, we can’t stop athletes from travelling and we can’t stop athletes from competing.”