By Mark Gleeson
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martins has traveled to South Africa for crisis meetings as Durban faces the possibility of losing out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“The CGF President traveled to South Africa earlier this week for further high level meetings and we continue to make every effort to engage with the Durban 2022 delivery partners,” a CGF spokesman told Reuters on Saturday, without giving further details of who she met.
“A review team appointed by the CGF is in the final stages of evaluating the submissions received from South Africa to determine whether Durban’s proposals for hosting the Games are consistent with their original bid commitments. A recommendation will be referred to the CGF executive board, who meet March 11-12.”
Durban’s chances of hosting the Games look slim after South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula said last week that the costs were too high and that no agreement had been reached on the budget.
South Africa was forced to reconsider whether it could host the event for the first time due to doubts over the economic legacy of the Games and sluggish growth.
Durban has missed extended deadlines to sign the host city contract, establish an organizing committee and make contracted payments to the CGF.
The coastal city won the right to stage the multi-sports event in September, 2015 after Edmonton, Canada withdrew from the race due to falling oil prices.
Tubby Reddy, chief executive of the Games bid, told Reuters this week he believed they had done enough to meet the requirements of the CGF.
“We were asked to submit outstanding documentation by Nov. 30, which we did, and in my mind we have given the CGF everything they have asked for. It is now up to them to decide the way forward at their meeting,” he said.
(Additioning reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ed Osmond)