Malaysia emerges as a candidate to host the Commonwealth Games, but there are also opposing opinions

kuala lumpur: Questions arose on Tuesday about Malaysia’s chances of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games after current and former senior officials expressed serious concerns about the country’s ability to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is scrambling to find a venue after the Australian state of Victoria abruptly withdrew in July last year, citing soaring costs. Victoria’s abrupt move and lack of obvious alternatives sparked debate over the future of the Olympics, which are held every four years and were last held in 2022 in Birmingham.

The Malaysian Olympic Council announced on Monday that London-based CGF “has offered Malaysia the opportunity to replace Victoria as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.” “The proposals include a significant financial investment of £100m to support local hosting and legacy.” Planning for the 2026 edition is underway. ”

Commonwealth Games chiefs then praised Malaysia’s “fantastic achievement” in hosting the 1998 Olympics. But Malaysia’s former youth and sports minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, trashed the idea on Tuesday, calling it “reckless” due to the small size of the Olympics. We have been apart for over 2 years.

He told AFP that any host would need at least four years to upgrade venues, plan sponsorships and develop infrastructure. “The Commonwealth Games is not a major high-profile sporting event. As far as multi-sport games are concerned, it doesn’t even come close to the Olympics or the Asian Games in terms of participation, visibility and revenue,” he added.

“Therefore, the potential for monetization and spillover to the host country will be minimal.” Suhardi Alias, sports commissioner at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, also said, “It took two years to organize this major event. “That period is really short,” he said, adding that while his opinion is important, it will not influence the final decision.

“If we fail, we will be like a herd of clowns. The final decision will be taken by Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government. There is some support for the Olympics in Malaysia,” he added. .

Ramlan Abdul Aziz, former secretary-general of the National Sports Council, a government agency, told Bernama news agency: “If you study carefully, there are no major risks involved, especially with the injection of funds from the CGF.”

The CGF announced it would provide 100 million pounds ($130 million) of “financial and strategic support” to host candidates as part of the Victorian exit settlement. The spokesperson suggested that Malaysia is not the only country with the potential to host the Olympics. In 2026, the organization said it was “in advanced confidential discussions with potential hosts.”

Mohamad Norza Zakaria, chairman of the Malaysian Commonwealth Games Association, described it as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… to build on the success of Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and put Malaysia back on the global sporting map.” Probably.” AFP

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