London - Birmingham has been named host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games - the most expensive sports event to be held in Britain since the London Olympics. The city's bid was the only one submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) by the deadline of 30 September, after it was chosen ahead of Liverpool as Britain's candidate. The CGF initially deemed the city's bid was "not fully compliant". However, it has now been confirmed as the host of the £750m event. West Midlands mayor Andy Street described the announcement as a "fantastic Christmas present for our region". The bidding process has been beset with problems, with the South African city of Durban awarded the Games in 2015 before being stripped of the event because it did not meet the CGF criteria. After Birmingham's bid was initially deemed to not meet the necessary criteria, previously interested cities such as Victoria in Canada and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia were given another two months to apply, but none came forward. Birmingham's organisers will now move forward with plans to build the UK's largest permanent athletics stadium, supplemented by four indoor arenas. The decision will also enable the council to pursue the purchase of land for the athletes' village in Perry Barr, one of the city's northern suburbs.
This will be the third time the Commonwealth Games has been held in Britain since the turn of the century, after Manchester and Glasgow staged the event in 2002 and 2014 respectively. The Games are expected to take place between 27 July and 7 August 2022. Louise Martin, president of the CGF, said Canada, Malaysia and Australia have all expressed interest in hosting the Games in 2026 or 2030.(FA)