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Collapsing bridges and stray dogs: India’s comedy of errors

It is disquieting to note that the Commonwealth Games hosts, India, continue to break their own record of world-class bungling.

Anything that can go wrong is going wrong in New Delhi.

First it was a bridge collapsing near a games venue and filthy conditions in the athletes’ village before the gala began.

Now we hear of illnesses affecting swimmers, empty stadiums and stray dogs showing up on the track in the middle of a race.

Organisers of the games were forced to launch an investigation into the water quality at one of the swimming pools a few days ago after about 50 swimmers had fallen sick.

Vuvuzela understands that about 40 English swimmers and 12 Australians were taken ill after competing at the Mukherjee Aquatics Complex.

Yet managers of the respective teams insist that the problem area was the warm-up pool.

Stomach problems being experienced by swimmers forced two Australian medal prospects to pull out.

A Canada swimming spokesperson said several team members were also suffering from stomach problems.

In fact several top swimmers have blamed “Delhi belly” for their poor performance at the Games.

As if the collapsing bridges and the contaminated swimming pools were not enough embarrassment for the Indians they still allow stray dogs to disrupt competitions in what is supposed to be a secured games venue.

Several news agencies reported that a stray dog sauntered onto the track at the main stadium yesterday morning, disrupting proceedings and bringing roars of laughter from the crowd as workers tried to catch it.

But officials did not see anything amiss about a stray dog pitching up on the track of a supposedly secured stadium.

“It’s not an uncommon phenomenon,” one official was quoted as saying in defence of the unusual spectacle.

“We’ve dogs, we’ve had cats, foxes,” the official reasoned.

We are told that the stray dog only vanished through an open tunnel after roaming the track and evading two workers dispatched to shoo it off.

The question is: what if the dog had rabbies and had decided to attack any of the athletes?

We have dogs, cats, and foxes in Africa.

We have snakes, lions and elephants too but they never showed up in the middle of a match venue during the Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

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