Melbourne, Mar. 15: The Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) has said that if its security concerns are not addressed, it could withdraw from the
2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi.
According to the Courier Mail, for the first time in Australia”s Commonwealth Games history, team officials will consider hiring private security to protect the country”s best athletes in India.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November and in Lahore two weeks ago, the future of the Games in New Delhi in October 2010 hangs in the balance.
The shock revelation that a laptop with sensitive security information was stolen from a Delhi police compound last week has heightened concerns.
Australia is planning to send 550 athletes and officials to Delhi, and Commonwealth Games officials will seek urgent talks with the Federal Government and security experts in the coming weeks.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) CEO Perry Crosswhite said if it is recommended that extra security be added on top of what organisers could provide, the association would break with convention and do so.
Crosswhite said a security assessment one month before the Games would play a crucial role in the event”s governing body, the Commonwealth Games Federation, deciding whether it could proceed.
"We are still 18 months out. I”d say a year out will be a crucial point in time and then six months, three months and one month. At the end of the day it”s our decision (if Australia sends a team) and we have to make that call with the best information we have at the time," he added.
Crosswhite represented Australia in basketball in three Olympics, including the 1972 Munich Games when terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. He said he would understand if an Australian athlete withdrew from the Games due to security concerns. (ANI)