Malaysia rejects offer to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Malaysia has rejected an offer to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games owing to uncertainty over costs and insufficient funding offered, its government said yesterday, in a major setback for the quadrennial multi-sport event.

Malaysia was asked to step in after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew as host, citing ballooning costs, with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) offering £100m in supporting funds. The latest decision raises the possibility that the Games may not take place for the first time since being cancelled owing to the second world war.

The funding offered was not enough, officials said, and Malaysia could not commit to hosting the event at such short notice and with little time to assess the potential economic impact.

“If we had a longer time, we would definitely do it, but because there’s such a short time, we definitely can’t do it,” the government spokesperson and communications minister, Fahmi Fadzil, said.

“When we assessed the viability of hosting the Games, the length of time needed and the cost was seen to be particularly prohibitive.”

The London-based CGF did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Malaysia declining its offer.

The youth and sports ministry said the £100m funding it had offered would not be enough to cover the costs of hosting a large-scale sports event.

“Additionally, the economic impact could not be identified in this short timeframe,” it said in a statement.

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