Commonwealth Games: Malaysia says it has been offered £100m to help stage 2026 event

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Malaysia says it has been offered £100m to help the country host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games: Malaysia says it has been offered £100m to help stage 2026 event
Commonwealth Games: Malaysia says it has been offered £100m to help stage 2026 event

The Games is currently without a host after the Australian state of Victoria cancelled its plans last July because of soaring costs.

Malaysia’s Olympic Council says it received a formal invitation from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to replace Victoria as hosts last month.

The CGF says it is in “advanced discussions” with potential hosts.

A statement on the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) website said the £100m would support “the local delivery and legacy planning” of the 2026 Games.

Malaysia has hosted the Games once before, in the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

President of Commonwealth Games Association of Malaysia Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the chance to host in 2026 was a “once in a lifetime opportunity to build on the success of 1998” and put the country “back on to the world sporting map”.

A CGF spokesman told BBC Sport that £100m of “financial and strategic support” has been made available for potential hosts as part of Victoria’s withdrawal settlement.

A statement read: “The CGF is in advanced, confidential discussions with potential hosts to secure a solution for the 2026 Games that inspires athletes and helps transform the Games to a truly sustainable model.

“Malaysia has a fantastic track record of delivering sporting events and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur were hugely successful. We are encouraged by their early concepts of building on this legacy through use of many of the same world-class facilities.

“We welcome innovative proposals and are in positive discussions with potential hosts. We are committed to providing an update on the expedited process, and giving greater clarity to our stakeholders and athletes, as soon as possible.”

The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport event which takes place every four years. It has only ever been cancelled twice, in 1942 and 1946, because of World War Two.

To be eligible to participate, competitors must be from one of the Commonwealth’s more than 70 nations or territories – many of which were once part of the British Empire.

The CGF had been struggling to find a host for the 2026 Games before Victoria volunteered in April 2022.

Organisers had originally estimated the event – hosted across cities including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat – would cost A$2.6bn (£1.34bn).

But the expected cost for the 12-day tournament rose to more than A$6 billion (£3.08bn), prompting the state to cancel its plans.

The South African city of Durban was originally set to stage the 2022 games, but were stripped of hosting rights in 2017 after running into money troubles and missing key deadlines. Birmingham agreed to host nine months later.

Last week the Commonwealth Games was missing from a list of 70 major events that UK Sport said it wanted Britain to host in the next 15 years.

Deputy CEO Simon Morton said: “The challenge for us thinking about the Commonwealth Games in the future is simply a value for money one, rather than does it have benefit?

“We’ve got an open dialogue with the Commonwealth Games Federation, but until there is a little bit more clarity on what a sustainable Commonwealth Games model looks like in the future, it doesn’t appear on our list.”

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