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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Sunday, 20 September, 1998, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Commonwealth Games: Have they had their day?

It is almost 60 years since the Commonwealth Games began but the tournament organisers are debating their future.

This year's Games, currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have attracted athletes from 70 independent states of the British Commonwealth.

But crowds have been disappointing and the cost of staging the Games every four year years keeps soaring.

Television is not prepared to provide funds. Sponsors too are putting their money elsewhere. Much brainpower has been spent finding ways to give the Games a new lease of life.

But are they worth the effort? Have the Games along with Commonwealth ceased to hold any meaning?

Traditionalists say not. They argue that, like the Monarchy which presides over the Commonwealth, the Games are a great institution that must go on.

They also say that the political value of the Games cannot be underrated.

Many athletes praise the Games' friendly atmosphere. They say it is refreshing to experience the true camaraderie of sport - in an era where money dominates many other events.

For many sports enthusiasts, however, these are the reasons why the Games should be wound down.

They say the Games may be long-standing but, like Commonwealth, they are an anachronism.

Today's impoverished Games see many of the big sporting names staying away.

And, as many people point out, if the stars are absent so are the magic record-breaking moments and the enthusiastic crowds.

What do you think?

Have the Commonwealth Games had their day?

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