‘Durban's sports infrastructure needs improvement for 2022 games’

Durban now looks likely to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after Edmonton in Canada pulled out.

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban. Picture: Victoria Campbell-Gillies/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Olympic swimming champion Cameron van der Burgh says Durban's sports infrastructure would get a much needed improvement if the city is awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Durban now looks likely to play host to the games after Edmonton in Canada pulled out of the bidding process.

Van der Burgh says there are big positives for Durban and sport in this country in general.

"I think it's best to compare the facilities we have in South Africa to a national level. You can't even compare it. I think it will be so amazing for the athlete to have a facility on a worldwide standard."

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Tubby Reddy yesterday said due process will be followed.

"We have noted Edmonton's decision to withdraw from the bid process to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022. As the Bid Committee for the City of Durban, we are required to follow due process and lodge our bid with the Commonwealth Games Federation."

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation David Grevemberg says he looks forward to realising the ambitions of Africa's first Commonwealth Games.

"We now look forward enthusiastically to working with the Durban 2022 Bid team and their partners through the evaluation process."

Edmonton's decision comes just weeks ahead of the March deadline to submit bids.

Durban is the only other city vying to host the multi-sports event.

HISTORY

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years and feature athletes from over 50 countries.

The next event will be held on Australia's Gold Coast in 2018.

The host site for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is scheduled to be made in September.

Edmonton has already hosted the Games once before, in 1978, while Canada also hosted the inaugural Games in 1930 (Hamilton) as well as 1954 (Vancouver) and 1994 (Victoria).

Additional Reporting by Reuters