NEW DELHI: Jan.26: In the latest controversy to agitate relations between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Organizing Committee (OC) of the Delhi Games 2010, the former put up a distorted map of India on its website, leaving the latter to do the firefighting even as the country celebrated Republic Day.
The map, which showed parts of the country -- Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat -- as integral to neighbouring Pakistan, was taken off the site (www.thecgf.com) only after a strong protest was lodged.
Said OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot, "We spoke to the CGF officials immediately after we got to know of the mistake. It was taken off right after that." Bhanot said a formal complaint hadn’t been lodged yet, but the issue would be taken up on Wednesday. "Our first priority was to ensure that the map was taken off the website. We will now follow up on why such a thing happened, especially as the website is maintained by CGF."
Bhanot, however, was quick to point out that the intention was not malafide. "I’m sure it wasn’t a deliberate attempt by the CGF, rather a mistake. But we would definitely like to know why such a mistake was committed," said Bhanot, who is also the OC secretary general.
Incidentally, the CGF has been represented by its chief operating officer, Mike Hooper, for almost a year in Delhi now. Hooper, who is in London at present, will also be part of the discussion, added OC officials.
Following the controversy, the distorted map was replaced with a Google map by the CGF website.
Relations between the CGF and the Organizing Committee have been strained over the past few months since the Delhi Games 2010 came under international spotlight for tardy preparations. The OC had maintained that work was on schedule and that some of CGF representatives in Delhi were far from cooperative or encouraging.