Malaysia’s possibility of hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games sparks opposition

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 hosting 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 the 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. ”

Commonwealth Games chiefs later praised Malaysia’s “fantastic track record” in hosting the Games in 1998.

But Malaysia’s former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Tuesday trashed the idea, calling it “reckless” with the Olympics just over two years away.

He said it would take any organizer at least four years to upgrade the venue, plan sponsorships and set up infrastructure. AFP.

“The Commonwealth Games are not an important, high-profile sporting event,” he added.

“As far as multi-sport competitions are concerned, it does not even come close to the Olympics or the Asian Games in terms of participation, exposure and revenue. 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 urged caution.

“Two years is a really short time to organize such a big event,” Suhardi said, adding that his opinion was important but would not influence the final decision.

“If we fail, we’ll look like a bunch of clowns,” he added.

The final decision will be taken by Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government.

Malaysia is providing support for the Olympic Games.

Ramlan Abdul Aziz, former executive director of the National Sports Council, a government agency, said: bernama The news agency said: “If carefully studied, injecting funds, especially from the CGF, does not involve significant risks.”

The CGF says potential host countries will be provided with “financial and strategic support” of £100 million ($130 million) as part of the Victorian Withdrawal Settlement.

A spokesperson suggested Malaysia would not be the only country to potentially host the Olympics in 2026, saying the organization was “in private preliminary discussions with potential hosts”.

Malaysian Commonwealth Games Association President Mohamad Norza Zakaria called it “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.” It will happen,” he said.

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