Commonwealth Games battle turns dirty

KATHLEEN HARRIS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

Canada has been accused of playing "dirty tricks" in a nasty battle with Scotland over the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow, the chief rival to Halifax to stage the international sporting competition, is fuming over a CBC documentary aired this month that branded the city as one of the most violent in the world.

Some seething Scottish bid organizers believe The Feral Boys of Glasgow, which paints the city as gripped by gangs and puts it in the same league as Baghdad and Kandahar, was a deliberate attempt to negatively portray Canada's chief Commonwealth Games competitor.

According to an article in The Observer newspaper yesterday, the director of Glasgow's bid was "astonished" by the documentary.

Derek Casey, a former chief executive of the U.K.B Sports Council, defended Glasgow's reputation and fired back in the U.K. newspaper by pointing out that Halifax has serious crime problems of its own.

The Observer, referring to a Statistics Canada report, declared Halifax "the violent crime capital of the country."

"Despite Canada's portrayal of Glasgow as a city in the grip of a crime epidemic, it also emerged that Halifax is suffering an unprecedented crime wave," the newspaper reported.

Halifax and Glasgow are the favourites to land the Commonwealth Games, with the Nigerian capital Abuja the trailing third contender.

The Observer report said insiders are privately condemning Canada for a "desperate" attempt to deflect attention from our own crime problems to "muddy the waters" for Glasgow's bid.


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