The organizers have expressed their openness to consider any offer from the United Kingdom to become the hosts of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. This invitation comes after the Australian state of Victoria unexpectedly withdrew, casting uncertainty over the future of the event.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) received only eight hours’ notice before Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement, citing escalating costs as the reason for the withdrawal. Although the CGF expressed deep disappointment with the decision, they remain committed to exploring alternative options, even though no clear candidates have emerged at present.
The 2022 Games relocated to Birmingham, which was the original host for the 2026 event, following the stripping of Durban in South Africa from its hosting rights in 2017. Considering the limited timeframe, another venue in the UK might be the only practical option for a replacement.
Future of the event
Victoria’s decision leaves not only the 2026 Games but the entire future of the event in jeopardy, with it struggling to find its place in a crowded sporting calendar and with lingering questions about its foundation in Britain’s colonial past.
Katie Sadleir, the chief executive of the CGF, stated, “We would be very open to having a conversation with the UK about hosting the Games since they are fantastic hosts, if that’s something they are interested in.” However, the spokesperson for the UK prime minister emphasized the hope of finding a “viable solution” for holding the Games in Australia.
“This is a disappointing outcome for both fans and athletes,” Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said. “We hope that the Victoria state government, the Games federation and Commonwealth Games Australia will now work together to find a viable solution to hosting the event in 2026.”
In the past, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia have all engaged in discussions regarding hosting the 2026 Games. However, after Victoria’s announcement, they excluded themselves from consideration. Additionally, the leaders of New South Wales and Queensland have indicated their lack of interest in assuming the role as hosts. Brisbane, in Queensland, is hosting the 2032 Summer Olympics.