/

Victoria Pulls Out Of 2026 Commonwealth Games Hosting

1 min read

Australia’s state of Victoria has shockingly pulled out of the hosting of the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to projected cost overruns, with the future of the quadrennial multi-sport event now in doubt.

The edition which is officially known as the XXIII Commonwealth Games, is a multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth.

The 2026 edition would be the first to be held since the passing on of Queen Elizabeth II and the first under King Charles III.

The hosting rights had been granted to Victoria, Australia since 12 April 2022.

In a new twist, Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said the cost of the Games, which were to have been held in four regional hubs, could blow out to more than seven billion Australian dollars ($4.8 billion) from a budgeted A$2.6 billion if they went ahead.

“Frankly A$6-A$7 billion for a 12-day sporting event, we’re not doing that,” Andrews said at a media conference.

“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year.”

Andrews said Victoria had already informed the global Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) but the cost of breaking the 2026 contract had yet to be decided.

READ ALSO  Minister Inaugurates NCDMB Governing Council, Promises to Boost Local Content Initiatives 

The CGF did not provide immediate comment but local body Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) said the pull-out was “beyond disappointing”.

“It’s a comprehensive letdown for the athletes, the excited host communities, First Nations Australians who were at the heart of the Games, and the millions of fans that would have embraced a sixth home Games in Australia,” CGA Chief Executive Craig Phillips said in a statement.

“The stated costs overrun, in our opinion, are a gross exaggeration.”

The sporting event for mostly former British colonies has struggled to remain relevant, with five of the last six editions held in Australia or Britain.

English city Birmingham stepped in to host the 2022 Games after South Africa were stripped of them in 2017 over a lack of progress in preparations.

Though Australia hosted the Games as recently as 2018 at the Gold Coast, Victoria put its hand up for 2026 last year when no other countries showed interest.

Victoria officials had talked up the legacy benefits from new infrastructure in the regional hubs of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland, and an economic boost of more than A$3 billion.

Andrews said the government will instead spend more than A$2 billion on a “regional package” which would include building all permanent sporting facilities intended for the Games, along with A$1 billion for social and affordable housing.

READ ALSO  Pogba Gets 4-year Ban For Doping Offences

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), which had spoken of the 2026 Games as a “runway” for hosting the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, said it was “an enormous disappointment” for the athletes.

+ posts

Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.

In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.

He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.

Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.

READ ALSO  FA Cup: Chelsea Edges Past Leeds, To Face Leicester City In Quarterfinals 

He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.

Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.

Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.

Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.

In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.

He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.

Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.

He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.

Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.

Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.