The organisers of the 21st edition of Commonwealth Games have issued a public apology for conducting a shambolic closing ceremony which drew flak from many sporting organisations and officials. During the closing ceremony of the sporting extravaganza in Gold Coast, Australia, athletes from all the competing countries were seen marching at Carrara Stadium before the ceremony even started. So, when the TV broadcast actually commenced, the march was over and the athletes had left the stadium. It was a gaffe that brought scathing criticism to the CWG 2018 organisers.

During the entire blunder, the marching athletes, including the flag-bearers of various countries, were seen leaving the stadium while the closing speeches were still in progress. The start of the march was only witnessed by the spectators present at the stadium, while the TV audience got to see only the last of it. CWG bronze Medallist Johanna Griggs, who was broadcasting the ceremony for Channel Seven, said live on the air, “They’re actually wrecking a tradition that is so important and part of the Commonwealth Games. Unfortunately tonight, the organising committee, together with the host broadcasters, just didn’t get it right.”

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Speaking to media over the disastrous closing ceremony, Commonwealth Games Chairman Peter Beattie said, “If the athletes didn’t come into the stadium until the broadcast time they would have been stuck in a field or a paddock somewhere. We wanted athletes to be part of and enjoy the closing ceremony. However, having them come into the stadium in the pre-show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium. We got that wrong.”

Peter Beattie further went on to say that the anger among people is justified as it was genuine mistake committed by the CWG organisers. “The people who are angry are justified. The people who have been critical are also justified. Unfortunately tonight, the organising committee, together with the host broadcasters, just didn’t get it right,” he added.

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