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Pakistan ‘upset over Games village’

Pakistan on Monday rejected as unsatisfactory residential facilities at the Commonwealth Games village in New Delhi, warning organisers to make improvements or provide alternative accommodation.

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“Our delegation, which is visiting Delhi as part of a pre-event assessment, found the residential facilities in the village as unsatisfactory so we have given 24 hours to the organisers to bring an improvement or give us a hotel to put up our athletes,” Arif Hasan, president of the Pakistan Olympic Association, told AFP.

Hasan said the accommodation was not up to international standards but ruled out any boycott of the event.

Pakistan’s objections are the latest in a series of concerns over shabby accommodation at the athletes’ village for the Games, which run from October 3-14.

Several top athletes have also pulled out of the Games over security fears and health threats.

The Games organisers are racing against time to bring facilities up to international standards.

Hasan said the visiting Pakistani delegation did not attend a pre-Games meeting.

“Our delegation did not attend the delegation registration meeting because they did not find the facilities up to the mark,” said Hasan, stressing that Pakistan would nevertheless participate in the Games.

“Our delegation will go as planned and we are not going to pull out.”

Pakistan will compete in seven disciplines and their 75-member contingent will leave for New Delhi on September 29.

The Games will mark Pakistan’s first major participation in a sporting event in India since militant attacks on Mumbai in November 2008. Since then India had halted sporting ties with Pakistan but had competed against Pakistan in multinational events.

Pakistan won one gold, three silvers and a bronze medal in the last Games held in Melbourne four years ago.

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