Delhi official sorry for Games 'failure'

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A prominent member of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee has apologised for a "collective failure" as preparations for Delhi 2010 continue to be dogged by problems.

Treasurer AK Mattoo has admitted to the failings in a tv interview after reports of "filthy" living conditions in the athletes' village and the collapse of a footbridge near a stadium led to 23 injuries.

He said: "I apologise for whatever has happened, whether directly or indirectly by us or by one of the stakeholders in this event. I genuinely feel sorry for whatever has happened and would like to apologise not only on the part of the OC but everybody else who is committed. This is a collective failure."

Reports that a ceiling in the weightlifting arena fell down have been downplayed.

Several participating nations - including Scotland - have delayed the departure of their athletes while others like Wales are waiting for assurances the issues will be resolved before the Games open on October 3.

England's Commonwealth Games team has provided some welcome relief to the crisis-hit event in New Delhi by announcing the first competitors will fly out as planned on Thursday night despite serious concerns remaining over safety and conditions.

Sir Andrew Foster, chairman of Commonwealth Games England, warned however that the "ultimate option" remained pulling out and some other team members could yet have their departures delayed.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell was due to hold crisis talks with India's prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

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