CGF President Mike Fennell today said that everyone in the Commonwealth Games management has to share the blame for the lack of preparations ahead of the Delhi edition but hoped that they would overcome the problems in the next eight days for the successful conduct of the event.
Addressing a press conference a day after visiting the Games Village, Fennell said "considerable work has been done but still some more remains to be done."
But despite the controversy-marred build-up, Fennell asserted that calling off the Games "was never" on Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) agenda.
However, Fennell conceded that a lot of damage has been done to India's image. Flanked by embattled Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, Fennell said both India and the Commonwealth can learn a lesson from the shortcomings in organising the 19th edition of the Games scheduled October 3 to 14.
"The massive work that is being done now ought to have been done earlier," said Fennell.
"We all have to share the blame and responsibility. In any Games, there are a number of stakeholders, overall we have to ensure that we do everything to conduct the Games.
"Other Games have had problems and I believe that here also the problems would be sorted. A number of issues should have been and could have been avoided and that necessary corrective steps should be taken in good time," he added.
"We are going to have good Games," he insisted.
"A lot of damage has been done to India, which is the largest Commonwealth country. We need to learn lessons for hosting other events as well. This is part of the learning process. I hope India would have learnt a lesson, we would have learnt a lesson," he said.
Asked whether he felt let down by India, which won the hosting rights way back in 2003 but is in a desperate race against time to finish off the work, Fennell said, "We are disappointed in a number of things."
But the CGF boss said the time for blame-game was over and the focus should now be on conducting a safe and successful Games whatever be the scale of effort required.
"If we are committed to the same goal, we should not find faults and criticise each other because we all want that the Games are celebrated properly," he said.
His back against the wall, a defensive Kalmadi said he wished the venues had been handed to OC a little earlier.
"I am the chairman of Organising Committee and I will take all the responsibility but I wish venues were handed to us a little earlier," he said. More