South Africa

Le Clos gutted over Commonwealth Games loss

2017-03-15 11:55
Chad le Clos (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African Olympian Chad le Clos says he is heartbroken that Durban was stripped of hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

On Monday, news broke from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) that Durban had lost the right to host the showpiece.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula explained on Tuesday that financial concerns were the main factor in the city losing out.

READ: Mbalula: We did what was right for SA

Ever since Durban won the Games as the sole bidder in September 2015, it has missed deadlines to provide financial guarantees.

"Clauses in the agreement were seriously going to compromise South Africa and government was not prepared to sign an open-ended guarantee," said Mbalula on Tuesday.

Mbalula stated that the R118 million South Africa paid to secure rights to host 2022 Games cannot be recovered.

However, Mbalula insisted that the country is ready to host other global sporting events, and said that 2023 Rugby World Cup officials were in the country on an inspection visit.

Liverpool or Birmingham are being tipped as possible emergency hosts.

South Africa's decorated Olympic swimmer Le Clos took to social media to voice his disappointment over the country’s failed attempt to secure the major-sporting event.

"Love Durban, gutted to hear - 2022 Commonwealth would have been a home games. Not happening. So just going you to focus on 2017 Worlds," wrote Le Clos, who was born in Durban.

Le Clos will now turn his attention to the FINA World Championships which will be held in Budapest from July 14-30.

Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist Sunette Viljoen also chimed in over Durban's Commonwealth Games loss, saying on Twitter: "R118 million wasted on a failed bid for The Commonwealth Games. How many potential medal winners could have been helped with those millions?"

Last year November, Viljoen and Mbalula were involved in a social media twar over Rio medal winners failing to receive extra monetary bonuses promised by the sports minister.

Viljoen will participate in the third leg of the ASA Speed Series Meeting in Potchefstroom on Wednesday, starting at 19:00.

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