KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has expressed its willingness to replace Durban as the 2022 Commonwealth Games host.
Durban was stripped of the right to stage the Games on Monday after a trail of missed deadlines and financial problems that highlights the daunting burdens facing host cities for major sporting events. It would have been the first African city to host the Games.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said that the South African coastal city had failed to meet the promises contained in its bid, and the search for a replacement host was now on.
And yesterday, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said, after chairing a three-hour executive board meeting, that “we are willing to replace Durban as the new host in 2022”.
Malaysia first hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998.
“We (OCM) are keen to host the Games as we had organised the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. We also have all the facilities and stadiums to organise the Games.
“We have the sports city in Bukit Jalil, which was built to organise the 16th edition of the Commonwealth Games in 1998.
“However, we have to get the approval of the government before we can bid to replace Durban as the new host,” said Tunku Imran.
Malaysia was the first Asian country to host the Commonwealth Games in 1998, with 69 countries taking part.
Not only did Malaysia do an excellent job in hosting the Games, it also ended up bagging 10 golds, 14 silvers and 12 bronzes in 15 sports.
Malaysia won gold medals in athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, bowling, shooting and weightlifting.
The other sports held at the 1998 Games were aquatics, cricket, cycling, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby and squash.
Tunku Imran said that they would probably organise the same number of sports as in 1998.
“I hope the government will give us the green light to host it despite the short notice,” said Tunku Imran.
The next Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Queensland, from April 5-14, 2018.
Eighteen sports, comprising of 275 events, are in the programme for the 21st edition of the Gold Coast Games.