Durban loses 2022 Commonwealth Games: Liverpool to step in?

Durban has been stripped of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The head of the Commonwealth Games Federation said Monday the organisation was "actively exploring alternative options" to Durban as host of the 2022 Games after "key obligations" had not been met by the South African city.

After concerns were raised by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula a number of weeks ago, the reality finally dawned on the country's sports officials and government alike, that hosting an event the magnitude of the Commonwealth Games in Durban was beyond its financial means.

Durban 2022 would have been the first staging of the Commonwealth Games in Africa.

It was on the basis of their recommendation that the CGF board made its decision on Monday.

The next Games are set to be held in 2018 at the Gold Coast, Australia.

The Federation released a statement a short while ago saying that - having completed its review of the final information submitted by South Africa on 30 November previous year, it was discovered that a number of key obligations and commitments in areas had not been met.

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Gideon Sam, in charge of the South African Sports Confederation and the NOC, commented to Reuters, "This is a huge disappointment for us and for the whole African continent".

Durban missed deadlines last November to sign the host city contract, establish an organising committee and make contracted payments to the CGF, leading to a review team being sent to re-evaluate the South African bid. But without the necessary Government guarantees, we couldn't move on.

"It does not look like we will find each other", he said.

South Africa has also been touted as a possible Olympic host, and was considering bidding for the Summer Games in as early as 2028.

The organisation's chief executive David Grevemberg said: "We are sad, of course we are, but particularly for the people of South Africa".

One city that has already expressed its interest in hosting the 2022 games is Liverpool.

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