Sports South Africa Loses Rights to Host 2022 Commonwealth Games

"Everybody was very excited to see the Commonwealth Games staged in Durban, which was very well equipped to host the event, but once the economics started to play a role, it became hard".

The CGF was "actively exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host", CGF president Louise Martin said.

Earlier this month mayor Phil Goff ruled out Auckland stepping in to host the 2022 event.

In the wake of today's decision to drop Durban, the BBC reports that Liverpool and Birmingham have "expressed interest" in hosting the 2022 Games.

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said previously: "Liverpool is interested in hosting the games in 2022".

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Durban 2022 Organizing Committee have yet to confirm the news, though an official announcement is expected later Monday.

Gideon Sam, in charge of the South African Sports Confederation and the NOC, commented to Reuters, "This is a huge disappointment for us and for the whole African continent".

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In a telephone interview, the sports association head claimed that lack of funding from the South African government crippled preparations to the prestigious games. The South African government was asked to provide $470 million of that, bid chief executive Tubby Reddy said.

However, Sam has admitted that the Games are as good as gone.

Durban instead presented a scaled-down version of the games to the CGF.

The Commonwealth Games began as the British Empire Games in 1930. It is already bidding to host the games in 2026.

"I will now demand a full-scale investigation by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) into the total cost wasted by the City of EThekwini through its involvement in the Commonwealth Games bid".

News that Durban had pulled out came on the day the Queen started the countdown to the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia, by launching a baton relay at Buckingham Palace.

  • Regina Holmes