The South African city of Durban will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, becoming the first venue in the continent of Africa to be awarded the multi-sports event.
The Commonwealth Games Federation made the announcement on Wednesday after receiving Durban’s final briefing at general assembly in Auckland, New Zealand. The general assembly also voted to increase the number of compulsory sports at the games from 10 to 16.
The coastal city was the only candidate for the multi-sports event after the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew its bid in February for financial reasons. The event is scheduled to open on July 18, 2022, marking the birth date of the late South African president Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013. It will be the 22nd staging on the championship, which is held every four years.
South Africa has already demonstrated its organizational ability, hosting the football world cup in 2010 and the Rugby World Cup in 1995. However, the country has not yet hosted a multi-sports event of the scale of the Commonwealth Games.
The South African delegation has said existing infrastructure will be used to minimize costs and the games, scheduled to take place over 12 days, will make profit. An athletic track will be installed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and an athlete’s village will be constructed.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome the South African city of Durban as proud hosts of the 22nd Commonwealth Games,” said the outgoing Federation’s President Prince Tunku Imran. “As a movement we stand together to support the very first games on African soil,” he added.
The Commonwealth Games was the last held in 2014 in Glasgow, with Australia’s Gold Coast hosting the 2018 event. IMAGE/enca.com