As Durban pulls out of CWG 2022 , India keen to bid

CWN 2010

Having hosted the CWG in 2010 India, is now joining the fray to host the  2022 Commonwealth Games. A senior Indian Olympic Association (IOA) official said they were weighing the options of stepping in as a replacement for Durban — which was stripped of the quadrennial event on Monday — if the government lends its support.

This comes a day after Durban had to give up hosting rights as the South African government failed to give financial guarantees for the event. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has begun its search for a replacement host city and invited bids.

“We received a communication from them (CGF) today. Our (IOA) president and members are discussing the issue. If there is support from the government, we will consider the possibility of bidding for the Games,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told The Indian Express.

Mehta pointed out that things have changed over the years. He said the successful conduct of the South Asian Games on a shoestring budget in Guwahati and Shillong last year was a case in point. The event was held under the direct supervision of the government, which controlled the finances, while the IOA provided technical support.

While there is no time-frame specified yet for the countries to submit their bid, Mehta said he would meet IOA president N Ramachandran to decide the future course of action. Three years ago, the IOA had expressed its desire to host the 2019 Asian Games. The government had also backed the proposal, but the country could not meet the deadline to submit the bid.

India last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010, an event that is as much remembered for corruption charges and mismanagement as it is for the country’s phenomenal success at several jam-packed sporting arenas.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had probed the matter and filed a chargesheet in connection with it, naming Suresh Kalmadi and others, in 2011. Sheila Dikshit, who was Delhi chief minister at the time, had refuted allegations of corruption against her government and claimed that  “Everything was done keeping in mind the national interest and prestige.”

Australia, which will be hosting the 2018 edition, has said it is willing to host the Games again in 2022, while English cities Birmingham and Liverpool too have come forward to replace Durban.