Durban pulled as 2022 Commonwealth Games host

An artist's impression of various venues to be prepared for the Commonwealth Games in Durban. File

Don't panic - the Commonwealth Games had an emergency plan in place long before Durban was dropped as the host in 2022.

Reports had suggested that the CGF was weighing up its options and that a decision was expected this week, but on Monday afternoon reports across the country began calling the news.

The games were set to open on July 18, 2022, coinciding with the birthday of the late South African President, Nelson Mandela.

Durban won the bid for the Games unopposed in September 2015 after Edmonton dropped its campaign to host when falling oil prices caused the Canadian city to refocus its financial commitments.

"The Commonwealth Games Federation is looking for an alternative to Durban‚" he wrote.

The CGF is actively looking for a replacement destination and two United Kingdom cities, Liverpool and Birmingham, are interested with Liverpool already throwing the hat in the ring.




Gideon Sam, in charge of the South African Sports Confederation and the NOC, commented to Reuters, "This is a huge disappointment for us and for the whole African continent".

"We wouldn't want to be starting from scratch", she said. Like the Olympics, they are held every four years, with athletes from more than 50 different countries taking part.

News that Durban had pulled out came on the day the Queen started the countdown to the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia, by launching a baton relay at Buckingham Palace.

The South African city was awarded the Games in 2015, but a review by the Commonwealth Games Federation reported "a significant departure from the undertakings" made in the bid.

"We have given it our best shot, but we can not live beyond our means".

Mayor Joe Anderson has written to sports minister Tracey Crouch to express the city's interest.

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