Durban loses 2022 Commonwealth Games

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

The Commonwealth Games first took place in 1930.

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 can not live beyond our means".

Durban was awarded the Games in 2015, after preferred option Edmonton, in Canada, pulled out after local opposition.

In a statement, the department said the briefing would respond to the CGF's statement.

However, last month, "South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated the city may not be able to host the event because of financial constraints".

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The decision was taken by the CGF's ruling Executive during a meeting this weekend and they are due to release more details later today.

The announcement came on the same day that Britain's Queen Elizabeth launched the baton relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam confirmed the news, saying the news was a disappointment to the country and the entire continent. But without the necessary Government guarantees, we couldn't move on. It is already bidding to host the games in 2026. Boston, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest have all dropped out of the running for the 2024 Games, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris in contention.

"Besides, it would have made it increasingly hard for another potential host city if we had delayed the process any further", said Sam.

"We are disappointed but it does not diminish our commitment to the African continent".

Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Here in Birmingham, we are already in the advanced stages of producing a detailed feasibility study on what would be needed for a truly memorable Games in the city".

  • Lawrence Cooper