Guernsey Press

Malaysia could step into 2026 Commonwealth Games breach

Malaysia has been offered £100m. to assist in hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the country’s Olympic Council has said.

Guernsey’s top athletes, including 2022 medallist Ala Chalmers, have been left wondering whether the 2026 Games will go ahead. (Picture from PA Images)

The Games in two years’ time is currently without an official host after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew last summer.

‘The Commonwealth Games Federation has offered Malaysia the opportunity to replace Victoria as hosts of the Commonwealth Games in 2026,’ said a statement on the website of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

‘The offer includes significant financial investment of £100m. to support the local delivery and legacy planning of the 2026 edition.’

The OCM statement said a ‘formal invitation’ to host was received last month from the CGF.

‘The last time Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games was in 1998, thus CGA Malaysia is of the opinion that the Government of Malaysia should consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and the associated support and financial investment – which will build on the success of Kuala Lumpur 1998 and put Malaysia back onto the world sporting map,' said Mohamad Norza Zakaria, the president of Commonwealth Games Malaysia.

‘With the existing world-class facilities, Malaysia is well-equipped to host an international event of Commonwealth magnitude involving 74 nations and territories.

‘The hosting will involve minimal Government spending and bring significant socio-economic benefits to the country.

‘It will also elevate the standard of Malaysia sports much like the way it did in the aftermath of the 1998 Games.

'To this end, the CGF and CGA Malaysia have offered an attractive proposal to the Government of Malaysia.’

Although they stopped short of confirming that a ‘formal invitation’ has been made, a CGF spokesman did acknowledge interest in the possibility of Malaysia hosting the event in 2026.

‘Malaysia has a fantastic track record of delivering sporting events and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur were hugely successful,’ said the spokesman.

‘We are encouraged by their early concepts of building on this legacy through use of many of the same world class facilities.’

The CGF added that it was in ‘advanced, confidential discussions with potential hosts’, any of which would benefit from £100m. of financial and strategic support available via the Victoria withdrawal settlement.

Last week, the Commonwealth Games was omitted from a target list of 70 major events UK Sports said Britain should aspire to host in the next 15 years.