With his country scrambling to organize facilities for the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Signh summoned two fellow ministers for an emergency meeting Thursday in a move that could effectively determine the signature sporting event's fate.
According to the BBC, Singh is scheduled to meet with Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy. The meeting follows an onslaught of negative reports questioning India's ability to effectively host the games, which are scheduled to open Oct. 3, with most slamming the country's lack of preparation.
With just 10 days to go before the start of the games, India's ability to meet the deadline remains in question, with many participating athletes delaying their arrival, or threatening to cancel their participation entirely.
As British cyclist Peter Kennaugh, who withdrew from the games Thursday, tells Cycling Weekly:
"Obviously with what's been going on in the news, we've been made to think long and hard about going out there. It's not just the structures collapsing and the problems with the athletes villages; for me it's the health issues. I can't afford to miss a winter off my bike at this point in my career, especially with the London Olympics coming up. For me, this winter is vital for getting back on the track and in the team pursuit team."
"The bottom line is that the accommodations in the athletes' village simply aren't ready," said Scott Stevenson, Commonwealth Games Canada's director of sport, in a statement. "We're working extremely hard with local authorities to get the finishing work and the clean-up done, but it's going to take more time. More importantly, we have not received the official clearance from the host organizing committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation that the village is ready for its official opening."
On Tuesday, a footbridge near the Jawaharial Nehru Stadium collapsed, injuring 19 people.
PHOTOS OF THE PREPARATION FOR THE GAMES: