India has missed its Golden Chance

The recent history of global sport is littered with examples of host cities and countries struggling to be ready in time to host major international events.

29 August 2012 Michael Long

The recent history of global sport is littered with examples of host cities and countries struggling to be ready in time to host major international events. Athens famously scraped across the line in 2004, completing construction and infrastructure work just days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games while many spent the last couple of years doubting and debating South Africa’s ability to be ready in time to stage the Fifa World Cup. In almost all cases, somehow or other, everything works out. Even if things are a little rough round the edges sometimes, the events and tournaments start when they’re supposed to and take place without calamity. In all likelihood the same will be true of Delhi and the Commonwealth Games. Opening night on Sunday 3rd October is looming large and the past few weeks – indeed, the past few years – have been dotted with allegations of   ”# 54” ” #6  ! and myriad construction and organisational delays. Things came to a head in August when the desperation of the organising committee led to outside agencies being blamed for not hitting commercial targets and three members of the organising committee were sacked amidst murky rumours of corruption. It led to the Indian prime minister stepping in to take a bigger role in ensuring building, infrastructure and commercial targets are met, ahead of a deadline that they simply cannot shift. If the Commonwealth Games are not quite as big or important as many people directly involved in them would like to think, they    #&!4 “  international multi-sport event. They matter. And they matter particularly to India, a country with a vibrant, healthy, fast-growing economy that is desperate to show that it can stand shoulder to shoulder with other economic powers. Sport and staging sports events is perhaps the most effective way of doing that, but only if it is done properly. What was supposed to be India’s demonstration to the world that it can stage major international events has threatened to become a major national embarrassment. The sad thing is, it probably already has. Even if everything is ‘alright on the night’ of 3rd October and the 12 days of competition to follow, it will fail now to repair the damage Indian sport has already caused itself, particularly coming as the investigations into alleged irregularities in the running of the Indian Premier League – India’s bold cricketing money-spinner – continue. That’s very sad. India’s big chance has been ruined by too many vested interests, a sports industry that is too intertwined with politics and authority and, quite simply, too many clashing egos. Those to blame know who they are and they should hang their heads in shame – after, of course, ensuring that there is at least a Commonwealth Games in their country in a few weeks time. The multi-platform balance This issue sees our annual look at the challenges and trends being encountered in sports broadcasting, as that industry prepares for its yearly gathering at Sportel in Monaco. One of the key topics of discussion is, of course, how best to utilise the various media platforms now available to broadcasters and rights-holders. No better time, then, to let you know about SportsPro’s newly relaunched website – SportsPro now has more pages than ever and, as ever, your feedback is more than welcome. 10 2010 10 David Cushnan {filedir_26}SportsProMag_issue26_10.pdf [8079] [sportspro_october_2010] SportsPro October 2010