Malaysia considers ‘downsizing’ of Commonwealth Games

Birmingham Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
photograph: photo sports

Malaysia’s Olympic Council on Monday proposed hosting a “scaled-down” Commonwealth Games in 2026 as the Southeast Asian country considers replacing the original host, Australia’s Victoria state. did.

The Commonwealth Games Federation has offered 100 million pounds (NZ$209 million) in support if Malaysia decides to take over as the venue, after Victoria withdrew last year citing ballooning costs. offered to provide it.

Reaction to the proposal has been mixed in Malaysia amid concerns over the cost of expenditure and lack of preparation time. Sports Minister Hannah Yeo said Cabinet will discuss the issue this week.

Victoria’s bid to host the event has cast doubt on the future of the quadrennial multi-sport event, raising questions about its merits and continued significance.

Malaysia previously hosted this event in 1998.

Malaysian Olympic Council Secretary-General Mohd Natifuddin Najib said on Monday that a number of cost-cutting measures were being taken, including using standard hotels and accommodation facilities to accommodate athletes and officials, instead of building a dedicated village for the Games. proposed such measures.

He told reporters that Malaysia may direct some of the budget for the 2027 Southeast Asian Games to the Commonwealth Games.

“We feel this could be a scaled-down tournament,” he said. “For example, it doesn’t have to be 15 sports, it could be 10 sports. And we’ll have a smaller opening and a smaller closing (ceremony).”

“We can discuss all of this, but this decision is best made by the government.”

At the last Commonwealth Games, held in Birmingham in 2022, New Zealand fielded a team of 233 athletes, competing in 19 sports.


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