The Commonwealth Games could be cancelled for the first time since the Second World War after Australia’s Gold Coast dropped its bid to host the 2026 event.
City officials said the bid had been scrapped after efforts to secure support from state or federal governments had failed.
The decision comes after Australia’s southern state of Victoria pulled out of hosting the Games in July amid concerns over costs and because the event does “not represent value for money”.
Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive, Craig Phillips, said organisers should now “seriously consider” any hosting bids from other nations.
The withdrawals leaves the event without a host, raising the possibility of the Games being cancelled for the first time since the period during the Second World War – and increases fears about its long-term future.
In August, the Canadian province of Alberta withdrew its bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games over cost concerns.
This followed the same decision in February for similar reasons by Canadian city Hamilton over the staging of the 2030 event.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) currently has no firm bids for either the 2026 or 2030 games.
Mr Phillips said Australia has not entirely given up on being 2026 hosts, but added organisers should explore other avenues: “We have indicated to (the CGF)… they would have our support in doing that.
“It’s our preference to host here and we will keep going while we think we have got options to explore.
“But if they have a better option, then they should seriously consider it.”
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July: Victoria withdraws as host
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Mr Phillips said in September the 2026 Games could be pushed back a year to allow another Australian host time to step in – but on Monday felt if the event was to happen, it was likely to be in a different country.
“The people we spoke to in the Commonwealth Games family, I believe that the sentiment is very much still that the first priority is there is a solution here in Australia,” he added.
Gold Coast, in Queensland state, hosted the 2018 Games and city mayor Tom Tate had floated the idea of holding a “streamlined” Games with Western Australia state capital Perth, but conceded the vision did not “align” with state and federal governments.
“We did our best and that’s all people can expect,” he said in a statement.
The Commonwealth Games is contested every four years and was last held in Birmingham in 2022.
The multi-sports event began in 1930 as the British Empire Games.
Source : Sky News