The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) stripped the 2022 edition of the Games from Durban, South Africa, the CGF confirmed Monday. The decision was made by the CGF in London after meetings over the weekend.
“They will now have to look for another host city,” Gideon Sam, president of the South Africa Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and vice president of the CGF said.
“Durban was given a couple of things to do, and they were unable to do them, so it’s not going to happen.”
There has been speculation since late last year that Durban may lose Games after the organizing Committee missed various financial and planning deadlines set out by the CGF. Further reports suggest that the city can no longer afford the costs of the Games.
Some British cities, including Liverpool, have already come forward as possible replacement hosts to organize the Games which would now have to be done in a compressed timeline.
Durban won the bid for the Games unopposed in September 2015 after Edmonton dropped its campaign to host when falling oil prices caused the Canadian city to refocus its financial commitments.
South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula said last month “we gave it our best but we can’t go beyond. If the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t”.
The cost of the Games, estimated by Durban bid committee chief executive Tubby Reddy at $670 million, was key the problem. Reddy, who made his estimate in 2015, said Durban needed $470 million of that from the government.
The government had estimated the Games could generate up to $1.5 billion in economic benefit but Mbalula said the government had been forced to reconsider, adding at the time “I don’t want to raise our expectations and say everything looks good.”
The Durban Games would have marked the first time the event was held in Africa, and was considered a stepping-stone to an eventual Olympic Games on the only continent to have never hosted.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games are set to be held in Gold Coast, Australia.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.