Kuala Lumpur looks set to reconsider lodging a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a Malaysian official said Friday. The deadline for applications to host the 2022 Games was extended by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to November 30 after the only bid to meet the original September 30 deadline, Birmingham in Britain, was deemed “not fully compliant”.
Along with Birmingham, Victoria in Canada and Kuala Lumpur had been considering bids but lacked sufficient time to rally the needed government support. Birmingham’s plans were more mature because the city had already been planning a 2026 bid and had competed with Liverpool in a domestic selection process.
The site selection process is already two-years behind schedule because the original host city, Durban, was stripped of the Games after missing financial milestones.
Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he will discuss a possible bid with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said that the nation needs to pursue bigger sports events after successfully organizing the 29th Southeast Asia Games last August.
“The Olympic Games may be too big for the time being and the Asian Games will cost too much unless the Olympic Council of Asia reduces the cost of organizing it and the one which can still be considered is the Commonwealth Games,” Khairy said at a press conference.
“We have hosted it a while ago, and whether we want to host it again, I have to talk with the Prime Minister first.”
Kuala Lumpur hosted what were widely considered successful Commonwealth Games in 1998.
Birmingham’s bid will remain the favourite to host the Games as the only issues remaining with the CGF are conditions around the financial guarantees and land availability for the Athletes’ Village. Both parties say they only need more time to resolve any differences.
The next Games will be held in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018. Other Australian cities have expressed interest in bidding to become a replacement host in 2022 should no other capable city come forward.
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.