The Commonwealth Games 2026 has been thrown into chaos after the host Australian state pulled out blaming the soaring costs of organising the sporting event.
Victoria in Australia volunteered to hold the international multi-sport competition back in 2020 after the organisers struggled to find a host.
The Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews has blamed the expense of hosting as being the reason behind the decision, stating the bill was growing to be “well and truly too much”.
Mr Andrews pointed out that the original sum for taking on the Commonwealth Games has tripled meaning the state can no longer bear the expense.
He told a press conference: “I’ve made a lot of difficult calls, a lot of very difficult decisions in this job. This is not one of them,
“That is all cost and no benefit.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation expressed deep dissatisfaction with the decision and reiterated their commitment to finding a solution.
The Commonwealth Games have been held every four years without interruption, with the exception of World War 2.
Athletes must represent one of the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries, many of which were formerly part of the British Empire, in order to compete in the games.
Last year, when asked to host the event, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared that Victoria was eager to help, but not at any cost.
Originally, organisers anticipated that the event would cost A$2.6billion (£1.4billion), and it was marketed by the state government as a method to strengthen the regions, which included cities such as Geelong, Bendigo, and Ballarat.
The government in Victoria will carry out the stadium improvements that were originally promised for the 2018 events.
They will, however, use the money saved as a result of this decision to fund housing and tourist efforts.
Mr Andrew stated that the government thoroughly investigated all options, including transferring the games to Melbourne, before officially telling the CGF of their decision.
He also noted that “amicable and productive” had been held overnight in London.
Nonetheless, the CGF voiced astonishment and dissatisfaction in response to the government’s statement, claiming that they were only given an eight-hour warning and that no effort was made to engage in negotiations and cooperatively develop alternatives.
The CGF said: “We are disappointed that we were only given eight hours’ notice and that no consideration was given to discussing the situation to jointly find solutions.”