DELHI 2010: Indian Olympic bid not dead in water, says Rogge

INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge insists India’s quest to host a future Olympics is not dead in the water despite Delhi’s shambolic Commonwealth Games preparations.

DIPLOMATIC: IOC president Jacques Rogge insists Delhi must be given the chance to turn things around (Getty Images)

Rogge believes that despite a tidal wave of criticism heading the way of the Delhi 2010 organisers, the Games could yet be a success and cited Athens 2004 as an example of the impact last-ditch efforts can have.

 The Delhi Commonwealth Games, which get underway in nine days, were supposed to be India’s big coming-out party – an exercise in demonstrating their economic strength and banish stereotypes of corruption and shoddy workmanship.

This week – in which the athletes’ village has been exposed as ‘squalid, filthy and unfit for human habitation’ – has done nothing but reinforce those stigmatisms and India’s intended bid for the 2020 Olympics appears to be lying prostrate on the bottom of the River Yamuna.

Rogge, however, is adamant that is not the case.

“I think I can hardly make a judgment before the games have even started,” Rogge told the Associated Press.

“Let’s give them the chance to prove they can stage good Games. It would be with a last-ditch effort and it probably would be costly, but let’s hope they can fulfil that.

“Hopefully the Indians can pull out a last-ditch effort like the Greeks have done,” he said.