Commonwealth Games fallout rumbles on

23:32, Feb 09 2011

The payment dispute over last year's Commonwealth Games rumbles on with a foreign company rejecting claims of non-performance by organisers and demanding their fee is paid immediately.

Organisers of last year's controversy-ridden Commonwealth Games said earlier this month partial payment to nine foreign companies have been withheld for "non-performance" without elaborating.

One of the companies, Event Knowledge Services (EKS), dismissed the allegations.

"EKS has never received any official or unofficial indication, written or verbal, that it was in breach of contract or that it was not performing satisfactorily against the agreed scope of work," EKS chief executive Craig McLatchey said in a statement on Wednesday.

"EKS strongly refutes allegations of non-performance and publicly confirms its rights to all outstanding payments due under its contract with the Organising Committee."

"EKS has today written to the Chief Executive of the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee requiring full payment and retraction of the false and misleading claims of non-performance..."

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Organising committee chief executive Jarnail Singh could not be reached for comment.

The October Games were widely criticised by media and fans for the poor state of facilities and accommodation, particularly in the days leading up to its opening.

Ric Birch, whose Spectak Production organised the opening and closing ceremonies and is one of the nine unpaid companies named, told Reuters last week he had taken legal action against the Games organisers.

Last month, organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and secretary general Lalit Bhanot were sacked as investigations into alleged corruption continue.

The US$6 billion Games, intended to be a statement of India's growing financial might, ended up being a national embarrassment, salvaged only after a last minute scramble by the government.

Memories of chaotic organising were revived last month when Eden Gardens in Kolkata was stripped of the England v India cricket World Cup match scheduled at India's best known venue following a delay in construction work.

Reuters