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England team members head to Delhi

English athletes have begun arriving in New Delhi as the chaos-hit Commonwealth Games was seemingly brought back from the brink.

Sporting bodies in England on Thursday night agreed "unanimously" in favour of dispatching the entire squad to India for the tournament, which is due to start on October 3.

An advance team of 22 flew out late on Thursday night from Heathrow, with others due to follow them in the coming days.

Organisers earlier soothed the concerns of participating nations by giving a number of assurances over the safety of stadiums and improvements to the athletes' village.

The move followed a series of mishaps at the site of the Games, including a footbridge collapsing at the main arena and a ceiling caving in at the weightlifting venue.

In addition, teams hit out at accommodation for athletes described as "unfit for human habitation".

At least eight nations expressed reservations over the haphazard preparations for the Games.

Individual athletes, including reigning Commonwealth triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, have decided not to attend over safety fears. Ongoing concerns over the structure of venues and accommodation conditions had risked the far more damaging prospect of entire teams pulling out of the event.

But Team Scotland bosses confirmed their athletes will fly out to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Saturday.

It followed assurances that conditions in the athletes' village will be resolved prior to the team's arrival. The team's chef de mission, Jon Doig, has confirmed that progress is being made after concerns were raised that the facility was not fit for purpose.


From Belfast Telegraph