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Ecclestone gives Delhi 45-day deadline

NEWS STORY
21/08/2007

According to reports in the Indian media, Bernie Ecclestone has given the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) - potential organizers of a Grand Prix in Delhi - a 45 day deadline. After that date (September 30), he will expect a full business plan and feasibility study for the event. If everything goes to plan, Delhi could host a Grand Prix in 2010.

"We are working on the project and would come out with a complete detailed plan in a couple of weeks," IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi told India's Economic Times. "The letter given by Mr Ecclestone is extendible beyond the September 30 deadline."

However, elsewhere, Vijay Mallya, who controls both the Motorsport Association of India (MAI) and the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI), claims that Bernie Ecclestone has given him the mandate to act as the regulator and coordinate India's F1 effort.

"I have been authorised by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to coordinate efforts between various interested parties," he told the Economic Times.

"The FMSCI and MAI are regulators like the FIA not promoters like FOM (Formula One Management)," he said. "I am the chairman of both. By December, the two bodies will be merged and the broad principles of the merger have been agreed and endorsed by the World Motorsport Council of the FIA.

"Whoever brings F1 to India will have to run the sport under rules of the regulator body. The promoter invests the money to make the race happen, pays the licence fee to F1 management and that is a role Mr Kalmadi wishes to take up."

However... "IOA will be the principal promoter," insists Kalmadi, "and the first event will be held in 2009, for which the modalities are being worked out."

Asked if he would invest in Kalmadi's project, Mallya replied: "If IOA is doing it, let them; why should I invest?"

"it will be our (IOA) responsibility to raise the necessary finances," said Kalmadi, who claims that raising the funds will not be a problem.

Look like this could take more than 45 days to sort out.

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