By Tom Degun

delhi 2010_commonwealth_games_closing_ceremony_05-10-11October 5 - Infostrada Sports has hit back at the latest claims from the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee who have asked the Dutch company for a return payment of around £850,000 ($1.3 million/€985,100) for what they describe as "incomplete services" and "breach of agreement" for work carried at the Commonwealth Games.

Infostrada Sports were contracted to provide media services - amounting to £1.2 million ($1.9 million/€1.4 million) - during Delhi 2010 but are on a long list of high-profile international firms to have had a dispute with the Organising Committee regarding payment.

The Organising Committee originally refused to pay the company and are taking action against their own former and present employees for paying the £850,000 ($1.3 million/€985,100) sum - around 70 per cent of the total contract value - to Infostrada Sports without undertaking a proper check of its working.

Infostrada Sports have suggested that they will not be returning the money to the Organising Committee despite the request and that they have been widely praised for their work.

"We have been in protracted discussions with the Organising Committee, which have to this date been fruitless," a spokesperson from Infostrada Sports told insidethegames.

"We were praised for our work in Delhi by various stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), various OC officials and the media.

"We were officially and publicly thanked by the OC for doing extra work, at no charge, to rescue them during the period of technical issues in the days leading into and first days of the Games.

"Importantly, none of these technical issues were the responsibility of Infostrada Sports, but the clear responsibility of other sections of the Organising Committee."

Infostrada Sports performed similar roles at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, as well as being due to work on London 2012.

The Organising Committee had claimed earlier this year that they were overpaid and did not deliver on their work for Delhi 2010 but Infostrada Sports denied this was the case.

"Infostrada Sports once again refutes all allegations that it was overpaid, under-performed or under-delivered," said the company's chief executive Philip Hennemann.

"The amount we were contracted for Delhi was smaller than that we received for large multisport events with a full service delivery such as the Olympic Games in Beijing £1.7 million ($2.7 million/€2 million) or the Asian Games in Doha £2.6 million ($4.2 million/€3 million).

"In Delhi, we had more than 130 contracted persons and paid people involved in the operations, of which 76 were foreigners.

"It is the only event in the list with a full scope service that we had to arrange our own hotels and flights.

"In Beijing, these costs were paid by the Organising Committee.

"We paid over £217,000 ($350,000/$251,000) for flights and accommodation alone in Delhi."

The Delhi 2010 Organising Committee have been plagued with allegations of corruption since the close of the Commonwealth Games last year with senior figures - including chairman Suresh Kalmadi - having been continually questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In addition, eight countries lodged an official complaint with the Indian government over $74 million (£46 million/€56 million) worth of unpaid bills from last year's Commonwealth Games, warning that the delays could affect future investment in the country.

Australia Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland all signed the letter demanding action on the issue, which was delivered to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in February this year.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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