CGF shares vital information with SL
By Anjana Kaluarachchi
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the governing body of the Commonwealth Games shared information about potential budget and sport programme for the 2026 Commonwealth Games (CWG), to help Sri Lanka’s potential bid to host the Games, Chief Executive Officer of CGF partnership, David Leather said.
Leather said this during a virtual CGF General Assembly yeterday providing updates for its members, while also saying CGF is continuing discussions with Australia and Canada, who are the other potential candidates.
Early this month,Ceylon Today reported that the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL), who is also SL’s representative at the CGF, is bracing themselves to bid for the 2026 CWG, as front runner Hamilton (Canada) faced a setback by failing to secure Government support.
Speaking to Ceylon Today, NOCSL Secretary General Maxwell de Silva said they are keen to handle the bid process and host the Games if the Government gives them the green light regarding costs. De Silva further said NOCSL will discuss the matter with Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa.
De Silva stated that if we are to host the Games, we should look at Birmingham 2022 plans of building a fully-fledged international sports university with all facilities for the Games, which will help in hosting events, as well as provide accommodation for athletes and officials, which is the model Sri Lanka should adopt.
He further said that Sri Lanka could get Maldives on board to share the expenditure, where Maldives (who isn’t keen on hosting the entire Games) could host a couple of events there.
Hamilton, Ontario had been the frontrunner earlier this year, with the Bid Committee and Commonwealth Sport Canada ‘working exclusively’ with the CGF on staging the Games in 2026, but failed to secure Government support.
The Ontario Government said it would only back a bid to stage the Games in 2027 or later, citing it is focusing on the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Canada will co-host with Mexico and the United States. Toronto, the biggest city in Ontario, is poised to stage World Cup matches.
Australia then threw in their hat for a brief period, before Adelaide’s bid for the 2026 Games was firmly ruled out by the South Australian Government last month.
The CGF and Commonwealth Games Australia claimed they are working on developing a hosting proposition for an alternative Australian State, which would include evaluation of the benefits and costs of holding the Games.
Sri Lankan city Hambantota bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but lost to Gold Coast Australia by 43 votes to 27.
CGF said their immediate focus was on selecting a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the aim of bringing the process to a conclusion as soon as possible next year. Interest has been received from potential hosts for the 2030 Commonwealth Games and beyond, it was claimed.
Sri Lankan Government is yet to issue any comment regarding the matter.