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Page last updated at 05:24 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:24 UK

England Commonwealth Games team will compete in Delhi

By James Pearce
BBC sports news correspondent

Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi will host action in the Commonwealth Games
Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi will host action in the Commonwealth Games

English athletes are to be given the go-ahead to travel to Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in October.

There had been speculation that the English team would pull out of the Games because of security fears.

But Commonwealth Games England (CGE) is set to write to all its sports governing bodies informing them that the team will go to India.

CGE has been receiving regular security updates from Delhi, and the assessment is that it will be safe to travel.

The Commonwealth Games, which open on 3 October, will be the biggest multi-sport event in India since the Asian Games in 1982 with 71 nations expected to take part.

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Unlike the Olympic Games where Britain competes under the Team GB banner, there are separate teams for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at the Commonwealths.

Fresh concerns had been raised about the security situation in India after bomb blasts injured 15 people before an Indian Premier League cricket match in Bangalore on 17 April.

But Sir Andrew Foster, the 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.

"Security is something we and the Delhi 2010 organising committee take very seriously. We have taken, and will continue to take, expert advice on the situation."

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

We have been reassured that there'll be security around the village, the transport to the venue and where the teams shall be competing

England Hockey performance director David Faulkner

Commonwealth Games England, though, is confident that athletes will be safe in India, and one senior official working for the Delhi organisers recently described the security plans as foolproof.

In March, Delhi hosted the Hockey World Cup without any problems and England Hockey performance director David Faulkner told BBC Sport: "Our experience out there was generally a good one.

"Our position is the same as the World Cup - we are happy to travel.

"If anything else comes up then we'll double check the source and use the team on the ground to go make an assessment on what we do next.

"It's the only major multi-sport event outside of the Olympic Games. In essence we can mirror the Olympics, so it's a fantastic experience and very important learning curve for the athletes - but we don't take the security threats lightly.

"We have been reassured that there'll be security around the village, the transport to the venue and where the teams shall be competing."

Athletes will be told that if they are picked for the team they will be free to withdraw if they do not wish to take part in the Games.



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see also
BBC to screen Commonwealth Games
23 Apr 10 |  Sport Homepage
IPL semis switched after blasts
18 Apr 10 |  Cricket
Ennis to miss Commonwealth Games
01 Feb 10 |  Athletics
England calm Delhi Games concerns
30 Dec 09 |  Sport Homepage
Delhi commonwealth baton launched
29 Oct 09 |  South Asia
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics
Profile: The Commonwealth
01 Feb 12 |  Country profiles


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