The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) organizing body has said that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has offered Malaysia the chance to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and that the CGF could provide financial aid in order to facilitate it.

Up to £100 million ($128 million) has been offered to the Malaysian Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) to support the quadrennial event should Malaysia accept, the OCM has claimed.

However, the CGF has not confirmed this offer, and has instead told UK media that it is simply in "advanced discussions" with potential hosts.

In February the CGF had invited the OCM to discuss the possibility of hosting the 2026 event (which had originally been allocated to Victoria, Australia), and the Commonwealth body has apparently now offered the above funding to aid “the local delivery and legacy planning” of the games.

Mohamad Norza Zakaria, president of the OCM, has now stated his belief that Malaysia should host the games, saying: “The CGA Malaysia and CGF have been in discussions regarding the opportunity for Malaysia to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games… CGA Malaysia is of the opinion that the Government of Malaysia should consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and the associated support and financial investment – which will build on the success of Kuala Lumpur 1998 and put Malaysia back onto the world sporting map.”

Malaysia has hosted the Commonwealth Games once before, in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur.

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Norza continued: “With the existing world-class facilities, Malaysia is well-equipped to host an international event of Commonwealth magnitude involving 74 Commonwealth nations and territories. The hosting will involve minimal Government spending and bring significant socio-economic benefits to the country.

“It will also elevate the standard of Malaysia sports much like the way it did in the aftermath of the 1998 Games. To this end, the CGF and CGA Malaysia have offered an attractive proposal to the Government of Malaysia.”

The £100 million offer from the CGF hints at their desperation to find a new host for the event on such short notice, lest they risk a reputationally catastrophic postponement.

The Australian state of Victoria was originally set to host the event but withdrew in July 2023 owing to a huge increase in the projected cost of staging the games – originally projected to hit A$2.6 billion ($1.71 billion), the original cost then rose to an untenable A$6 billion.

Queenland, another Australian state, withdrew its own bid to host the games soon after with Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate citing the costs, differences in vision, and the city of Brisbane’s hosting of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic games as reasons why it pulled out.

On top of the two Australian states withdrawing, Alberta, Canada, also withdrew its bid, leaving the CFG faced with the possibility of postponement, or potentially a first cancellation since just after World War II.

In its own statement, meanwhile, the CGF has now said: "The CGF is in advanced, confidential discussions with potential hosts to secure a solution for the 2026 Games that inspires athletes and helps transform the Games to a truly sustainable model.

"Malaysia has a fantastic track record of delivering sporting events and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur were hugely successful. We are encouraged by their early concepts of building on this legacy through use of many of the same world-class facilities.

"We welcome innovative proposals and are in positive discussions with potential hosts. We are committed to providing an update on the expedited process, and giving greater clarity to our stakeholders and athletes, as soon as possible."

The originally scheduled host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, South Africa's Durban, also had to pull out for cost reasons, leaving Birmingham, England, to agree to act as a last-minute replacement.