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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

New blow for Commonwealth Games as Malaysia rejects offer to host in 2026

Malaysia was asked to step in after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew as host, citing ballooning costs, with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) offering £100 million ($126 million) in supporting funds.

Reuters Kuala Lumpur Published 23.03.24, 11:15 AM
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Malaysia has rejected an offer to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to uncertainty over costs and insufficient funding offered, its government said on Friday, in a major setback for the quadrennial multi-sport event.

Malaysia was asked to step in after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew as host, citing ballooning costs, with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) offering £100 million ($126 million) in supporting funds.

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Malaysia ruling itself out raises the possibility that the Games may not take place for the first time since it was cancelled due to World War II.

The funds offered were not enough, officials said, and Malaysia could not commit to hosting the event at such short notice and with little time to assess the potential economic impact.

“If we had a longer time, we would definitely do it, but because there’s such a short time, we definitely can’t do it,” government spokesperson and communications minister Fahmi Fadzil told a regular briefing.

The Games are typically contested by about 70 countries and territories of the former British empire and medals tables have in recent editions been dominated by Australia, England, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa.

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