Malaysia opts out of 2022 Commonwealth Games hosting bid

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is not considering hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games as it prefers to focus on its preparation for the next year’s edition – in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo said that the “timing is not suitable for Malaysia to host the 2022 edition”.

There was an opening to host the 2022 Games after Durban (South Africa) was removed as the host when it failed to meet certain criteria in its bid. Malaysia, Canada and England had indicated to Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) that they were keen to step in.

The CGF will hold a board meeting tomorrow to discuss about the next host.

“We’ve just hosted the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (in August). We’ve not even closed the account yet! I think it’s too early to think about hosting the Commonwealth Games although we have the ability, capacity and facility to do a good job,” said Beng Choo.

“Besides, it’s costly to host the Commonwealth Games. I’m not sure that the government will be keen to spend money again after hosting the KL Games. We’ll focus on our development programmes and our preparation for the next Commonwealth Games.”

Malaysia are also gearing up for the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, next August.

Beng Choo said that they would hold a second selection committee meeting on Jan 8-9 to finalise the team for the Gold Coast trip.

Those who have qualified on merit are the men and women’s hockey teams, men’s rugby and women’s basketball.

Malaysia have been given a quota of 98 athletes for the individual events.

“We have informed the NSAs (National Sports Associations) to firm up their team lists. We will go through another selection process with them next month. We’re expecting about 160 athletes to represent Malaysia at the Gold Coast Com­monwealth Games,” said Beng Choo.