Page last updated at 03:54 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 04:54 UK

England to travel to 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Delhi takes over as host nation at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Games
Delhi took over as host nation from Melbourne in 2006

English athletes have got the go-ahead travel to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, the BBC has learned.

There was speculation that the English team would pull out of the Games in Delhi amid security fears.

The BBC has learned that Commonwealth Games England is set to write to all its sports governing bodies informing them that the team will go to India.

Some 71 nations are expected to take part in the Commonwealth Games, which open on 3 October.

It will be the biggest multi-sport event in India since the Asian Games in 1982.

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) has been receiving regular security updates from Delhi and the assessment is that it will be safe to travel.

Sir Andrew Foster, chairman of CGE, told the BBC: "England's intention is to compete at the Games and we are currently making arrangements to create the best possible environment for success in Delhi.

"Our team will be the biggest England team for an overseas Games to date with an anticipated team size of more than 550, including nearly 400 athletes."

He added that security is something that CGE and the organising committee for the Games "take very seriously".

"We have taken, and will continue to take, expert advice on the situation," he said.

Fresh concerns had been raised about the security situation in India after bomb blasts injured 14 people before an IPL cricket match in Bangalore on 17 April.

The current official Foreign Office advice is that "there are increased indications that terrorists are planning attacks in New Delhi".

But CGE said it is confident that athletes will be safe in India.

However, athletes will be told that if they are picked for the team they will be free to withdraw from the Games if they do not wish to take part.

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