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Commonwealth Games

Countries who have pulled out of hosting Commonwealth Games 2026

Published at :April 4, 2024 at 11:39 PM
Modified at :April 4, 2024 at 11:40 PM
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(Courtesy : Wikipedia)

Ashwathy Rajendran

Singapore became the latest country to pull out from hosting Commonwealth Games 2026.

Finding a willing host has been a challenge for the Commonwealth Games, especially after the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Five out of the last six editions have been held in either Australia or Britain.

When considering hosting, cities must carefully assess the substantial and sometimes unpredictable costs against the advantages of a temporary economic upswing lasting two weeks or even a month. Investing in and developing new sporting facilities and infrastructure is another concern that has prompted countries to withdraw as hosts.

As for the Commonwealth Games 2026, it seems probable that they will have to be pushed back by a year to allow the host city to adequately prepare for the event. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is also contemplating increasing funding to attract potential hosts.

Birmingham -The original host city

The city of Birmingham, initially slated to host the 2026 event, stepped up to rescue the 2022 Games when South Africa lost its hosting rights due to slow preparations.

Following Birmingham’s successful hosting of the 2022 Games, despite time constraints, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) was left scrambling to secure a new host for the 2026 event.

With only Victoria remaining as a viable candidate after several cities withdrew from the bidding process due to financial issues, the CGF faced considerable pressure to swiftly finalize arrangements for the next event.

Victoria withdraws from hosting duties

Last year, the Australian state withdrew its support, alleging that the projected cost had unexpectedly surged by $4.5 billion.

Victoria’s withdrawal from hosting the games prompted the CGF to initiate an urgent search for a replacement host. Malaysia emerged as a leading contender after thorough consideration. The organizers also expressed optimism about their capability to host the event effectively.

Malaysia declines offer

Due to concerns regarding uncertain costs and insufficient funding, Malaysia turned down the offer. Even though the CGF extended £100m in supporting funds, Malaysian officials deemed it inadequate.

While expressing dissatisfaction with the funding, they also highlighted their inability to commit to hosting the event on short notice and without sufficient time to assess the potential economic impact.

Alternatively, the Malaysian Olympic Council initially floated the idea of hosting a downsized games, entailing constrained spending on athletes’ accommodation, scaled-back opening and closing ceremonies and restricting the number of disciplines to just 10, which the CGF did not entertain.

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Singapore opts out of hosting

Singapore has opted out of hosting the 2026 edition of the Commonwealth Games due to uncertainty about the future of the games. Both Sport Singapore and Commonwealth Games Singapore stated that after assessing the feasibility, they have chosen not to submit a bid to host the games.

This decision follows recent deliberations, with Singapore initially considering an invitation from the CGF to host the 2026 edition.

The next Commonwealth Games are just two years away, but efforts to secure a host country are ongoing.

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