Malaysia offers £100m to host 2026 Commonwealth Games after Australia’s sudden withdrawal in July last year: BBC report

The lack of a clear alternative has sparked debate about the future of the Olympics. The Olympics are held every four years, with the last one being held in Birmingham in 2022. Only two, in 1942 and 1946, were canceled due to World War II.

Queen Elizabeth attended the closing ceremony of the 1998 Malaysia Games.Photo: Reuters

In a statement posted on the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) website, it said the £100 million would support “local delivery and legacy planning” for the 2026 Games.

Malaysia has once hosted the Olympics in its capital, Kuala Lumpur, in 1998. This was the first time a multi-sport event was held in an Asian country, and the first time team competitions were included.

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

A CGF spokesperson told BBC Sport that £100m of “financial and strategic support” had been provided to host candidates as part of Victoria’s exit settlement.

The statement reads: “The CGF is in advanced and confidential discussions with potential host countries to secure a solution for the 2026 Games that will inspire athletes and help transform the Games into a truly sustainable model. It is carried out.

“Malaysia has an excellent track record in hosting sporting events, with the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur being a huge success. I was encouraged by their early concept of building a legacy.

“We welcome innovative proposals and are actively in discussions with potential hosts. We will provide updates on the expedited process and provide clear information to stakeholders and athletes as soon as possible. We are committed to providing the following.”

To be eligible, entrants must be from one of the 70 or more Commonwealth countries or territories. Many of them were once part of the British Empire.

The Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport event held every four years, was last held in Birmingham in 2022. Photo: AFP

The BBC said the CGF was struggling to find a venue for the 2026 Games until Victoria volunteered in April 2022.

Organizers initially estimated the event, to be held in cities including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, would cost A$2.6 billion (HK$13.7 billion).

But the expected cost of the 12-day event ballooned to more than A$6 billion, and the state canceled the plan.

The South African city of Durban was originally scheduled to host the Games in 2022, but was stripped of its hosting rights in 2017 after running into financial difficulties and missing key deadlines. Birmingham agreed to host it nine months later.

Last week, the Commonwealth Games were missing from a list of 70 major events that UK Sport announced it wanted to host in the UK over the next 15 years.

Simon Morton, Deputy CEO, said: “The question for us as we think about the future of the Commonwealth Games is not whether there is merit, but simply cost-effectiveness.

“We are in open dialogue with the Commonwealth Games Federation, but until we have a little more clarity on what a sustainable Commonwealth Games model looks like in the future, it is not on our list. I can’t.”

In Malaysia, former National Sports Council Secretary-General Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz told an online newspaper. rakyat post He insisted that Malaysia should accept the offer to host the 2026 Olympics.

Athletes pose with Willa, the tournament mascot, when Malaysia hosted the tournament in 1998.Photo: Reuters

He believed that, with careful consideration, there were no major risks and that funding from the CGF could offset most of the costs of hosting the event.

He added that Malaysia would not have to incur large expenses as participating countries would pay for participation costs such as accommodation, meals, flights and staff for the contingents.

However, members of the public expressed their opinion online that while they appreciated the offer to host the Olympics, Malaysia could not afford to host an event of that scale due to its debt.

They pointed out that if Australia, whose currency is stronger than Malaysia’s ringgit, deems it too expensive and is willing to pay a breach of contract, it would be unthinkably expensive for Malaysia to host the event.

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