3 Jun 2011

South Africa to bid for Commonwealth Games

5:16 am on 3 June 2011

South Africa will bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games having last week pulled out of the race to stage the 2020 summer Olympics.

South Africa's Olympic federation chief Gideon Sam says the Commonwealth Games have never been held in Africa and so they want to put in a bid.

The host city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be announced in November in St Kitts & Nevis with Australia's Gold Coast competing with the Sri Lankan port-city of Hambantota.

The Games are held every four years for more than 70 countries mostly of the former British Empire.

South Africa was widely expected to bid for the 2020 Olympics but the government decided not to back a bid, saying it wanted to focus on delivering basic services such as water and electricity to all its citizens.

But Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, says there is nothing to stop the country bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games chief executive Mike Hooper told Reuters earlier this month that Trinidad & Tobago and Wales had also shown interest in hosting the 2022 edition.