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Australian state in bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) – The Australian state government of Victoria said it has entered into “exclusive negotiations” with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to host the 2026 version of the games in regional centres in the state.

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years involving 70-plus countries from the British Commonwealth of nations. It was scheduled to be held in Durban this year, but Birmingham, England stepped in when financial constraints meant the South African city had to pull out of its hosting plans.

If Victoria gets approval for 2026 it would be the second time in eight years that Australia hosted the games after the Gold Coast in Queensland held them in 2018. Melbourne hosted the games in 2006 while other Australian editions included those in Sydney (1938), Perth (1962) and Brisbane (1982).

Commonwealth Games Australia’s chief executive officer Craig Phillips said Victoria’s bid will be submitted to the CGF in mid-March with official approval likely in April.

There have been no suggested dates for the games in 2026, although the Gold Coast event in subtropical Queensland was held in April 2018 – the middle of autumn in Australia.

The Melbourne games in 2006 were held in March.