JOHANNESBURG (APP) – Lone candidates Durban expect to be confirmed Wednesday in Auckland as historic hosts of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
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Although the four-yearly multi-sport event turned 85 this year, no African country has staged it.
Canadian city and previous hosts Edmonton withdrew from the 2022 race last February, citing oil price-related financial concerns, leaving the South African port as the only bidders.
Visits to the Indian Ocean city convinced representatives of the 71 members of the Commonwealth family of nations and territories that Durban would be an excellent choice.
“It is our recommendation that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) votes to award the 2022 Games to Durban,” said senior Federation official Louise Martin.
The CGF has called the Durban bid “an historic and special moment for the Commonwealth sporting movement”.
Britain have hosted the Games six times, Australia and Canada four times each, New Zealand three times, and Jamaica, Malaysia and India once each.
“It is the turn of Africa to hold this great event,” a beaming national Olympics body boss Gideon Sam told AFP.
“We believe our time has come and that South Africa can put on a show that will do the Commonwealth Games proud.” South Africa have successfully hosted the three biggest single-sport events — the cricket, rugby union and football World Cups — and Sam says a multi-sport event is the natural next step.