CGF expects to pick 2022 Commonwealth Games host this month
The host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games is expected to be announced by the end of the month, the Commonwealth Games Federation announced today.
Birmingham, England remains the outstanding favourite to land the games - indeed it is still the sole publicly-known contender - despite the CGF's assertions last week that an extended bidding window had resulted in interest from cities in Canada, Malaysia and Australia.
The CGF executive board today received an update from the federation's evaluation panel, chaired by CGF president Louise Martin (pictured), which was established to review and recommend the selection of the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The outcome was that the executive board still requires "further clarification on a range of issues identified by the evaluation panel before it can appoint a host city for 2022."
Birmingham looked set to be awarded the games unopposed only for the CGF to announce on 6 October that it had found no “fully compliant bid” to host the 2022 games and it would extend the bid deadline to 30 November, allowing “all interested parties” extra time to submit “fully compliant proposals.”
The CGF is, understandably, reluctant to sign a host city contract until all terms and conditions have been finalised following its experience with Durban, the original 2022 host. The South African city was awarded the games unopposed over two years ago following the withdrawal of Edmonton, Canada from the race, citing falling oil prices. While a host city contract was signed with Durban, it was done so without the full guarantees of the South African government, and the city duly missed a series of financial deadlines, before the CGF finally pulled the plug in March.
Speaking from a coordination commission visit in Gold Coast, where the 2018 games take place in April, Martin said today: "When the CGF general assembly took the difficult decision to reallocate the 2022 Commonwealth Games, it delegated the federation’s executive board the responsibility to award the games. It is essential that we have fully examined all aspects of the cities’ bid submissions and expressions of interest, and that we are fully satisfied that the ultimate host for 2022 is capable of staging a games that fully delivers for Commonwealth athletes and host communities.
"The CGF is close to making a decision to select the host city of the 2022 games. We thank all nations who have participated in the process. We are also close to achieving significant games legacy objectives, however we have been asked to provide a little more time in order for these to be realised, and in the interest of good partnership we have decided to allow this.
"The CGF is confident that we will make a final decision regarding the selection of a host city for 2022 before the year-end, but we will continue to remain flexible and collaborative in a true sense of partnership with potential hosts so that, above all, we have a decision that the entire Commonwealth can get behind."
While there has been interest from Victoria in Canada and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for 2022, they both appear to still lack the necessary government backing, while Australia has long been positioning itself as a contingency offering in the event there were no bidders.
Birmingham beat Liverpool earlier this year in a domestic bid process to be selected as the UK's candidate city.