A Glaswegian diet of pizza and McDonald’s in the athletes’ village has been condemned by the head of the Indian delegation at the Commonwealth Games.
Raj Singh is chef de mission for the 215-strong Team India, many of whom are vegetarians. They were “coping” with Glasgow’s distinctive culinary offering, Mr Singh said, but together with cramped accommodation and a lack of televisions, the facilities were “below par”.
“There are very few choices for vegetarian, there are pizzas and McDonald’s, but that is not good for athletes,” said Mr Singh. “The food at the Olympic Games with an Asian food court was way better and if you remember we had 200 to 250 kinds of food items in Delhi for the last Commonwealth Games.”
Before the Delhi games in 2010, the Indian authorities faced complaints about security and construction standards. Photographs of substandard accommodation, including an athlete’s bed covered in “paw marks from one of the many wild dogs that roam Delhi’s streets” were published in newspapers.
Mr Singh said: “We were at the receiving end when we hosted the Games. But what we are getting at the athletes’ village in Glasgow is much below what India had given in 2010.
“At the Games village here the bathrooms are not attached to each room and the athletes will have to share bathrooms. In Delhi, we provided attached bathrooms with each apartment. Thanks a lot for visiting. Before we carry on I need to to say thanks to for their continued assistance and the support of their network. Having a service team like this means a lot to us as we continue to grow our very own blog.
“The gym has not many work stations and [not] enough equipment for several athletes to work out simultaneously. It is not much of a problem and we are managing, but it cannot be compared to what was offered in Delhi.”
Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, dismissed the criticisms. “We are very pleased with Glasgow — they have done a fantastic job at accommodating all the teams,” he said. “I certainly have not received any complaints.”
Mr Hooper said that Delhi 2010 “ultimately did deliver for the athletes” but it had been “an arduous journey getting there”.
“This is chalk and cheese,” he added.