Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), has backed the preparations for next year's Games in New Delhi, Indian officials claimed today.

Edward, who is in the Indian capital to attend the CGF General Assembly, which begins tomorrow, visited facilities and the Athletes Village being built for the Games, which are due to take place next year between October 3 and 14.

Delhi organisers have been criticised by Mike Fennell, the President of the CGF, over the lack of progress.

Several countries have also expressed serious fears over security following the terrorist attack in Mumbai last November and on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore in March.

A statement from the organising committee said: "Edward showed satisfaction at the infrastructure being developed in Delhi.

"He was particularly keen to know details about the Queen’s Baton Relay that will be launched by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on October 29."
Edward was accompanied during his tour by Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the organising committee, and officials from the Delhi Development Authority.
Dressed in blue T-shirt with the CGF logo, Edward visited the Thyagaraj Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium as well as the headquarter of the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games-2010.

While visiting the Thyagaraj Stadium, Edward asked about an entrance that has been created for vehicles to access the playing area and was happy that it had been designed to allow ambulances to have easy access to transport injured athletes.

The Prince met India's Sports Minister M. S. Gill, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a host of other officials and delegates involved in preparations for the Commonwealth Games, the biggest event to be held in India since the Asian Games in 1982.

Article courtesy of Inside the Games.