CHENNAI: Even as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) grapples with the thought of whether or not to discuss the possibility of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, seven other cities in four countries have entertained the notion. After Liverpool and Melbourne threw their hat in after Durban pulled out, five more cities have expressed a willingness to get to the drawing board. New Delhi (IOA have gone on record to say they will hold at least preliminary discussions in the near future), Kuala Lumpur, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Edmonton have all responded positively.
London is the most high profile city in the list and their mayor Sadiq Khan, through a spokesperson, sounded upbeat while talking to the Evening Standard. “The Commonwealth Games are a wonderful sporting event and London would listen to any proposal to host in 2022.”
While Edmonton, one of the original candidates, is considered a front-runner if it again expresses a formal interest, Kuala Lumpur, which last hosted the Games in 1998, do have strong credentials. The city is anyway giving a fresh coat of paint to most of its venues ahead of SEA Games this year. And the Olympic Council of Malaysia president, Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar told local reporters they would be ready to submit a bid if the government said yes. “I believe Malaysia are capable of hosting the Commonwealth Games once again. We are certainly on the right track to become a good host for it (CWG).”
Melbourne does have world class venues but it’s unlikely to get the green signal as Australia (Gold Coast) are already hosting next year’s edition.
Given most cities in the recent past have shied away from bidding for big-ticket events because of costs, the CWG Federation will welcome this development.