Commonwealth Games could be saved from extinction as new host country emerges after Australia pulled out

MALAYSIA could rescue the beleaguered Commonwealth Games by becoming a potential host country for the 2026 Games.

The Australian State of Victoria was supposed to host the event in two years’ time but pulled out last summer due to budget blowouts.

Athletics stars like Team Scotland’s Josh Kerr could yet return to Commonwealth Games action in 2026Credit: Getty
Organisers hope to ensure that Birmingham 2022 is not the last GamesCredit: Getty

According to Malaysian sports officials, the under-fire Commonwealth Games Federation last month offered them the chance to stage the Friendly Games in the capital city Kuala Lumpur.

It is claimed the offer includes “significant financial investment of £100million to support the local delivery and legacy planning” of the 2026 edition.

Malaysia became the first Asian nation to host the 94-year-old event in 1998 when Australia topped the medal standing ahead of England.

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, said: “The last time Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games was in 1998.


“Thus the Commonwealth Games Association of 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.

“This will build on the success of Kuala Lumpur 1998 and put Malaysia back on to the world sporting map.

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

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

Most read in Athletics

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

Birmingham hosted the event in 2022 but since then the city council has effectively declared bankruptcy.

Shaun Custis and Rob Maul discuss the rise of Luke Littler and what the future holds for Darts wonderkid

And the £72million Alexander Stadium – the centrepiece for the athletics programme – has not been used for any other sporting events.

UK Sport, the government agency responsible for masterminding major tournaments, has no plans to bid for either the 2026 or 2030 editions of the Commonwealths.

A Commonwealth Games Federation spokesperson said: “The CGF is in advanced, confidential discussions with potential hosts to secure a solution for the 2026 Games that inspires athletes and helps transform the Games to a truly sustainable model.

“These discussions follow our announcement to members at our General Assembly last November that £100million of financial and strategic support would be made available from the Victoria withdrawal settlement.

“Malaysia has a fantastic track record of delivering sporting events and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur were hugely successful.

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


“We welcome innovative proposals and are in positive discussions with potential hosts.

“We are committed to providing an update on the expedited process, and giving greater clarity to our stakeholders and athletes, as soon as possible.”

Source: Athletics -


Felipe Massa sues F1 for £62million in damages over crash that handed Lewis Hamilton his first world title

Forgotten Premier League star quits non-league minnows to join 24TH CLUB of his football career in latest free transfer