14 Mar 2017

Urgency needed in finding a city to host 2022 Commonwealth Games

7:22 pm on 14 March 2017

A decision on finding a new host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is a matter of urgency, says New Zealand Olympic Committee head Kereyn Smith.

NZOC secretary general Kereyn Smith.

Kereyn Smith Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has stripped Durban from hosting the event, after it failed to meet financial and other key commitments.

Smith, who is also a member of the CGF executive, said Durban had failed to meet its initial bid budget by 30 percent.

Liverpool and Birmingham have expressed an interest in filling the gap and Smith said that needed to be done swiftly.

"Immediately to be honest, and I think the timeframe is a matter of months, certainly not longer than that."

"The president [of the CGF] Louise Martin is working with cities that have the ability and the facilities and they can quickly get the money together to make a commitment to do that."

Birmingham City Council deputy leader Ian Ward said in a statement:

"Here in Birmingham we are already in the advanced stages of producing a detailed feasibility study on what would be needed for a truly memorable games in the city.

"That is due to be completed in the coming weeks and we are in close contact with the government about the developing situation."

Birmingham had already expressed an interest in staging the 2026 Games, as had Liverpool.

The BBC quoted a spokesperson for Liverpool City Council as saying they had "already indicated to the government that we are very willing to host them [the 2022 Games] instead."

The 2018 Games will be held on Australia's Gold Coast.