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Shoddy Indian Games ‘hit Sri Lanka’s bid’: Sri Lankan official

[AFP, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 11:10 No Comment]

cwg210afp1 Sri Lanka’s failed bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games may have been scuttled because of shoddy organisation of the event in neighbouring India last year, an official said Tuesday.

Ahead of a vote on the 2018 event last week, Canada brought up deficiencies at the New Delhi Games last year and highlighted that many bills remained unpaid, head of the Sri Lankan bid committee Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.

“It created a certain fear amongst the voting delegates who associated India closely with Sri Lanka and as a result it may have affected our chances,” Cabraal said.

Sri Lanka spent $8 million for the bid and planned to spend another $1 billion for games-specific costs to host the 2018 event at the southern coastal town of Hambantota, the home constituency of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Queensland’s Gold Coast was the eventual winner in a vote held on November 12.

One year after the Games in New Delhi, some of its main organisers languish in jail on corruption charges and foreign companies are fighting legal battles over millions of dollars in unpaid bills.

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