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NI athletes to decide on Commonwealth Games participation

Northern Ireland could withdraw from troubled Games, despite urging from all quarters to participate.

A dog strays into the athletes practice area of the Commonwealth Games village
A dog strays into the athletes practice area of the Commonwealth Games village

NORTHERN IRELAND WILL decide later today whether they are to send their athletes to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next week, amid concerns about the standard of facilities in the Indian city.

The Games are due to start next Sunday, with the athletes’ village scheduled to  open in six days. The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) this morning stated that he received reports that said there had been “considerable improvements” to the facilities in Delhi.

Mike Fennell sent Mike Hooper, CEO of the CGF, to inspect the facilities in India and Hooper returned with a positive report. Hooper had earlier described the conditions as “filthy”.

The organisers apologised yesterday for the standard of accommodation in the athletes’ village after Team Scotland described the facilities as “not fit for humans” earlier this week.

Former Northern Irish athlete Dame Mary Peters weighed in yesterday- urging the Northern Irish team to compete in the Games. “I have no doubt our athletes will go to Delhi and represent us with great pride. And I think they should go. Hopefully they will be able to go out to India and compete without any stress or strain” said Peters in the Belfast Telegraph.

Secveral British athletes have already withdrawn, including cyclists Geraint Thomas of Wales and Ian Stannard of England. The English Commonwealth Games team last night said that they will send a full team to the games.

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