South Africa still eager to host 2022 Commonwealth Games
Johannesburg, Dec 1 (IANS) The South African government has said the nation is still keen to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Wednesday was the deadline for South Africa to fix certain issues to host the tournament, according to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), reports Xinhua.
South Africa failed to have the local organising committee in place within 180 days after winning the bid to host the event. They also failed to deposit the first payment of $1.79 million to the CGF for hosting the Commonwealth Games.
The spokesperson for the Department of Sport and Recreation, Esethu Hasane said on Wednesday that South Africa is still engaging CGF to host the event.
"The South African government is still fully committed on hosting the Games. Unfortunately, now the Department is not in a position to be making any pronouncements on ongoing talks between the government and the CGF. Doing so would be acting in bad faith of such discussions," he said.
Martin Reynolds, head of CGF's Marketing and Communications, said on Wednesday that they are still in talks with Durban over the issue.
He said the conditions given to South Africa's host City Durban is what applies to all who have intends to have the event in their country. If Durban beat the November 30, 2016 deadline, they might host the event.
"The CGF will evaluate the submissions thoroughly and then make a final recommendation to the CGF Executive Board on Durban's ability to host the Games in accordance with its original bid and the conditions of the award. This process may take up to six weeks and take us into the New Year given the importance of the matter," he said.
"It is important to note that 30 November is simply the deadline date for submissions. There will be no announcement or press conference on November 30. A further announcement will be made once the process outlined above has been completed," Reynolds added.
No African country has ever hosted the Commonwealth Games. Canada withdrew their bid to host the event in February 2016.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Australia.