Editor's Note: World Cup Flackery
Fri, Sep 3, '04
We are not surprised that our exclusive report that experts from the International Cricket Council (ICC) had rejected the architect's drawings for Guyana's World Cup stadium has stirred up a hornet's nest.
The powers that be have taken to issuing wordy press releases with crafty denials, and lazy Caribbean journalists are only too happy to publish the 'official' response without even reading them.
"Reports of countries, specifically Guyana, having their stadium plans 'rejected' are just not true," said Don Lockerbie, the World Cup venue development director.
In the next sentence in Lockerbie's statement comes this gem: "The LOCs will present their latest plans on September 14 and together as an "all-star team" we will work to find solutions to any design issues not currently meeting the ICC's requirements."
The drawings have absolutely not been rejected, he says with conviction, backed by his boss Chris Dehring. The drawings have only *not* met the ICC requirements and have been sent back for modifications.
Oh, for savvy flacks.
Meanwhile, the reality is that the original drawings submitted by Indian architects have been sent back (don't dare use the 'R' word) to the authorities in Guyana. Those drawings have to be redone (Trinidadians have been hired to handle this) and resubmitted to the ICC in time for the crucial September 14 meeting.
The modifications requested included moving the proposed practice wicket, shifting the sight-screen and the sponsors' boxes.
On top of that, there is still the issue of the ICC thumbing its nose at the track record of Engineering Projects India Ltd (EPIL) in the area of stadium construction.
EPIL is owned by the Indian government, which is supposed to be providing the funding for the stadium.
It is instructive to note that neither Dehring nor Lockerbie addressed the EPIL part of our report.
And, for the record, Dehring had *two* opportunities to address the EPIL issue. Before we went to press with this story, a complete draft was submitted to Dehring directly to give him an opportunity to comment. This was an exception to our editorial policy but because of the sensitive nature of the issue, we gave Dehring every opportunity to address everything beforehand.
After reading the article, Dehring provided a two-paragraph reply with the pseudo-denial (which, by the way, was included in the original story). He never addressed the EPIL issue.
We don't mind flacks spinning the news to suit their purposes. That's their job. We do have a problem when they try to insult our intelligence.