D-Day for Durban 2022 as Commonwealth Games board meets

Commonwealth Games. Picture credits: Gallo Images
Commonwealth Games. Picture credits: Gallo Images

High-ranking sports officials from across the globe are gathering in London from Friday to deliberate over Durban’s status of 2022 Commonwealth Games host.

But all indications are that the coastal city — which won the rights to host the multi-sport event in September 2015 — will be stripped of the Games.

 Several United Kingdom cities‚ as well as Sri Lanka‚ have reportedly offered to step in with just five years to go before the event was due to start.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) executive board are expected to receive a presentation over Durban bid. A decision is expected at some point at the weekend. South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam will reportedly be at the meeting.

The jury is out over who is to blame. CGF officials hauled Durban and South African sports bosses over the coals for missing crucial deadlines — including the establishment of a local organising committee and a crucial host city payment — and‚ last year‚ gave the country until 30 November to submit all documentation. The deadline was met‚ and a team has been assessing the submission ever since.

But local sports officials‚ who spoke to the Sunday Times last week‚ said that increased demands from the CGF‚ which would have seen the budget increased from the government gauranteed R4-billion‚ was standing in the way of an agreement being reached. Even sports minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that it “doesn’t look good” for Durban‚ with costs the chief stumbling block.

A CGF spokesman confirmed that the officials have started gathering on Friday and said an update could be expected in the next 48 hours.

 - TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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