Friday, September 24, 2010

England fly out with 'plan B' in pocket

By Emily Benammar

The England men's hockey squad, who are due to arrive in New Delhi on Thursday, will be moved to temporary accommodation if their rooms in the athletes' village are not completed to an acceptable standard.
David Faulkner, England Hockey’s performance director, said that while he was satisfied with the progress being made by the Commonwealth Games organisers, the team had made other provisional arrangements.
Faulkner travelled to the Indian capital on Wednesday for a final inspection. He then confirmed that Jason Lee and his 16-man squad would travel as planned, denying that reports of uninhabitable conditions applied to England Hockey’s accommodation and describing the outstanding issues as minor repairs and cleaning.
“I have seen England’s accommodation and my view is that I’m satisfied with the build, aside from a few snags which are being rectified. It needs a good clean and once this and minor fixes are made, what I saw will be suitable.
“I’ve read things in the press and I know in other tower blocks things haven’t been finished, but we’ve seen unfinished electrical sockets, broken air-conditioning or leaking taps.
“It’s to that level, so this is why we’re happy for the team to fly because if it’s not ready by Friday we have made arrangements for alternative accommodation for two or three days with a view to moving in maybe on Monday, when our women’s team arrives.
“There’s a lot to be done but they’re identifying the problems, working to rectify them and that will be ongoing.”
Faulkner said the focus needed to be on how things move forward from here. “Every few minutes we’re getting releases from this nation delaying travel and this one threatening not to come, but what’s important is looking at solutions rather then focusing on problems, and doing everything possible to support the athletes. What we don’t want to do is hinder performance.”

The Telegraph