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Singapore rules out playing host in new blow to Commonwealth Games

Singapore on Wednesday joined Malaysia in ruling out hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, further plunging the future of the multi-sport event into doubt.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has been scrambling to find a new host after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew last year because of soaring costs.

Malaysia emerged as a possible replacement but turned down the opportunity last month because of the cost, despite the offer of a £100 million ($126 million) sweetener from the CGF.

The financial support is available to any prospective host.

“Commonwealth Games Singapore and Sport Singapore have studied the feasibility of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games and have decided not to make any bid to host the Games,” the two sports bodies said in a joint statement, giving no more detail.

Victoria’s sudden pullout, and the lack of an obvious alternative, have raised doubts over the future of the Games, which take place every four years with most of the competing teams drawn from former British colonies.

The Games were last hosted in 2022 by the city of Birmingham in England.

The CGF hopes that the Games’ perceived strengths of inclusivity and integration, with para sports mixed in with able-bodied events, will secure a host just two years out from the multi-sport event.

Katie Sadleir, the CEO of the CGF, has accepted time is pressing but says intensive efforts are under way.

“The process to determine a host for the 2026 Games is continuing at pace with interested Commonwealth Games Associations,” she told AFP late last month.

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