Commonwealth face questions of relevance amid uncertainty

Joshua Cheptegei is one of Uganda's many winners at the Commonwealth Games. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

The Pearl of Africa has competed in 15 editions of the quadrennial games going back to 1954 but the future is far from certain.

Uganda is one of the 70+ countries that should be genuinely concerned about the Commonwealth Games with organisers failing to find a host.

The Pearl of Africa has competed in 15 editions of the quadrennial games going back to 1954 but the future is far from certain.

In all, athletes have won 58 medals for Uganda including 19 Gold, 18 Silver and 23 Bronze.

Adding to that seems distant as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is struggling to find a host for the 2026 and 2030 editions.

Malaysia has rejected an offer to host the 2026 games, the country's sports ministry has said.

The CGF offered Malaysia £100m as supporting funds after the Australian state of Victoria withdrew as host.

But Malaysia's sports ministry said the offer "will not cover the overall cost of hosting a large-scale sports event".

"Additionally, the economic impact could not be identified in this short timeframe," it added.

Victoria's withdrawal as host last July, because of soaring costs, has raised questions over the future of the Games.


Organisers had originally estimated the Victoria event - hosted across cities including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat - would cost £1.4bn but that figure more than doubled.

Birmingham, which had been due to host in 2026, stepped in to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games when the South African city of Durban was stripped of hosting rights after running into money troubles and missing key deadlines.

President of Commonwealth Games Association of Malaysia Mohamad Norza Zakaria had said the chance to host in 2026 was a "once in a lifetime opportunity to build on the success of 1998" - the only previous occasion the country has hosted the Games.

But Malaysia's sports minister Hannah Yeoh said on Thursday it may be best for the country not to host if public funds are needed to stage the event.

Government spokesperson and communications minister Fahmi Fadzil said: "If we had longer, we would definitely do it, but because there's such a short [amount of preparation] time, we definitely can't do it.

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

The government of Alberta, Canada has pulled its support for a bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games because of rising costs.

Alberta's withdrawal means there are also currently no other firm bids to host the 2030 Games.

"The confidential process to determine a host is continuing with other interested Commonwealth Games Associations," said a CGF spokesperson.

World War  

The event, staged across multiple sports, was first held in 1930 and have only previously been cancelled during World War Two.

For many sports, such as netball, it is seen as a major competition, and its profile was boosted by England's dramatic gold medal win over Australia in 2018.

But it is not seen as the pinnacle for everyone, and track stars Andre de Grasse, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson opted to miss the 2022 Games.

Uganda – overall medal tally

Games                  Gold Silver Bronze        Total

1954 Vancouver   0        1        0                  1

1958 Cardiff         0        1        0                  1

1962 Perth            1        1        4                  6

1966 Kingston     0        0        1                  1

1970 Edinburgh   3        3        1                  7

1974 Christchurch         2        4        3         9

1982 Brisbane      0        3        0                  3

1990 Auckland     2        0        2                  4

1994 Victoria       0        0        2                  2

1998 K. Lumpur  0        0        1                  1

2002 Manchester  0        2        0                  2

2006 Melbourne   2        0        1                  3

2010 Delhi            2        0        0                  2

2014 Glasgow      1        0        4                  5

2018 Gold Coast  3        1        2                  6

2022 Birmingham 3        0        2                  5

Totals (16 entries)         19      16      23      58