Sports

Durban stripped of 2022 Commonwealth Games hosting rights

Commonwealth Games chiefs said on Monday they were looking for a new venue for the 2022 edition after announcing scheduled hosts Durban had failed to meet "key obligations".

Last month, South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated the government might withdraw its financial support because of the cost of staging the multi-sport event, saying "we cannot live beyond our means".

Following a meeting in London, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said on Monday: "The CGF is actively exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host."

Durban 2022 would have been the first time the Commonwealth Games is held in Africa.

The CGF said they had completed their review of the "final information" submitted by South Africa on Nov 30 to determine whether their proposals for hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games honoured their original commitments.

"It is with disappointment that the detailed review has concluded that there is a significant departure from the undertakings provided in Durban's bid and as a result a number of key obligations and commitments in areas such as governance, venues, funding and risk management/assurance have not been met under the revised proposition," the statement added.

South Africa's government expressed disappointment at the decision, saying the budget of 4.32 billion rand (S$464 million) it had approved for the event was sufficient.

Mbalula said yesterday: "Our country is regrettably not in a position to make huge financial commitments given the current competing socio-economic needs and global economic downturn.

"In the interests of fiscal discipline and financial prudence, our government has considered all options and remains confident that we have acted in the best interest of South Africa."
- WIRE SERVICES

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