KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) said today it was considering hosting a “downsized” Commonwealth Games in 2026 but the final decision would lie with the government.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is scrambling to find a host after the Australian state of Victoria abruptly pulled out in July last year, citing spiralling costs.

“For example, it doesn’t have to include 15 sports. It could be 10 sports, resulting in a smaller opening and closing ceremony,” OCM secretary-general Mohamad Nazifuddin Najib said.

“So, all of that can be discussed, but we’ll let the decision come from the cabinet.”


Malaysian sports minister Hannah Yeoh confirmed that the government was considering the plan to host the Games.

“The most important thing is that when the decision is made, we assure you it will be after taking into consideration all the possible angles,” she was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

Victoria’s sudden move, and the lack of an obvious alternative, triggered debate about the future of the games, which take place every four years and were last held in Birmingham in 2022.


Malaysia said last week the CGF had offered “a significant financial investment of 100 million pounds” to help support the Southeast Asian nation to host the Games.

But dissent had emerged over the prospect of hosting the games, with a former sports minister criticising the idea as “reckless” because the games are a little over two years away.

However, the CGF has suggested that Malaysia was not the only country that could potentially stage the Games in 2026.

Singapore, which is aiming to host more large-scale sports events, said last week it was “assessing the feasibility” of the CGF’s invitation to host the games.

The wealthy city-state holds the Formula One night race annually and will be hosting the World Aquatic Championships in 2025.

The Youth Olympic Games was also held in Singapore in 2010.

Some observers have said both Malaysia and Singapore should co-host the event, a point that was also raised by the OCM.

“There is a possibility that we can collaborate with Singapore, but there is also a possibility that Singapore can decide to take over as the organiser and we miss this opportunity,” Nazifuddin said.

Song Seng Wun, economic adviser for CGS International, said “a significantly scaled-down Games will be more do-able but will still require a significant amount of money”.

A joint bid could be “the only solution on paper”, he told AFP.

“Singapore is too small and will need more infrastructure investment,” Song said. — AFP