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Commonwealth Games 2026 in doubt after Victoria cancels plans to host



The future of one of the world’s premiere sporting events has been thrown into chaos after the Australian state of Victoria announced it has cancelled its plans to host The Commonwealth Games in 2026.

It comes just more than a year after organisers struggled to find hosts for the competition before Victoria volunteered in April 2022.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that the state has informed The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) of its decision to terminate the contract and that productive meetings were held on Monday night. Further talks are expected to take place on Tuesday.

The decision has not gone down well with the CGF, which has described the move as “hugely disappointing” and are “committed to finding a solution”. Victoria officials have blamed budget concerns with estimates revealing costs have tripled to at least A$6 billion.

The Commonwealth Games has only ever been cancelled once previously and that was during the Second World War.

This is not the first time the future of the Games was up in the air after Durban was stripped of its hosting rights in 2022 as the South African city failed to meet project deadlines. The event was later awarded to Birmingham, which turned out to be an outstanding success.

The main concern Andrews has raised in regards to the future of the sporting event was the cost of hosting skyrocketing above their early estimates. Plans initially forecast that The Commonwealth Games hosted across cities including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat would cost A$2.6 billion and the Federal Government would foot the bill – however the 12-day tournament is now expected to cost more than A$6 billion.

Andrews said the new figures are “more than twice the estimated economic benefit” it would bring to Victoria and that it became no longer financially viable for the Australian state to continue its plans.

Talking to reporters on Tuesday (18 July), he explained: “I can’t stand here with any confidence that the $7 billion dollars could fund these games, it could be more than that. The sum is well and truly too much for a 12-day sporting event.

“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost that was estimated and budgeted for last year. We don’t just make popular decisions, we do what’s right and it would simply be wrong.”

The Victoria Premier blamed factors such as security, transport and other logistical services for the rising costs.

Jeroen Weimar, chief executive of Victoria’s organising committee, said the decision to axe the 2024 Commonwealth Games is “disappointing” but that the rising costs made it no longer viable.

The Federal Government had budgeted A$2.6 billion for the event, but in its budget published in May it included more than A$1 billion to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games and no contribution to the 2026 Commonwealth Games. It is expected that the legacy benefits of the event will still be delivered with a regional package worth over $2 billion to build the permanent sporting facilities in the state.

Victoria has become overwhelmed in debt thanks to borrowing huge sums for infrastructure projects and facing the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The state’s debt is expected to surge even further, by almost A$40 billion to about A$170 billion in four years.

What has the CGF said about the decision?
In a statement released on Tuesday, the CGF admitted that it felt blindsided by the news of Victoria stepping away from its 2026 Commonwealth Games hosting duties and that the rising costs suggested are a “gross exaggeration”.

The CGF said: “Since awarding Victoria the Games, the government has made decisions to include more sports and an additional regional hub, and changed plans for venues, all of which have added considerable expense, often against the advice of the CGF and Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA). We are disappointed that we were only given eight hours’ notice and that no consideration was given to discussing the situation to jointly find solutions prior to this decision being reached by the government.

“Up until this point, the government had advised that sufficient funding was available to deliver the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.”

The Commonwealth Games Australia’s chief executive Craig Phillips added: “The stated costs overrun, in our opinion, are a gross exaggeration and not reflective of the operational costs presented to the Victoria 2026 Organising Committee board as recently as June.”

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International Friendlies: Omeruo, Iwobi, Osayi-Samuel, Moffi back to Super Eagles




Head Coach Jose Santos Peseiro has recalled defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Bright Osayi-Samuel, as well as midfielder Alex Iwobi and forward Terem Moffi to the Super Eagles’ squad for this month’s international friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in Portugal. The quartet were absent from the team that demolished Sao Tome and Principe in last month’s 2023 AFCON qualifier in Uyo.

Midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, of Hatayaspor FC of Turkey gets his first-ever invitation, while Peseiro has decided to retain the trio of Francis Uzoho, Adebayo Adeleye and Olorunleke Ojo in goal. Yet-to-be-capped defender Jordan Torunnarigha is also called.

Wilfred Ndidi, who captained the team against Sao Tome and Principe, as well as Raphael Onyedika and forwards Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho have also been invited.

The Super Eagles take on the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in the city of Portimão, Portugal on Friday, 13th October 2023, starting at 5pm before a clash with the Mambas of Mozambique in the same city three days later.

The players are all expected to arrive in Faro, Portugal on Tuesday, 10th October.

Both encounters have been arranged as tune-up games for the Eagles ahead of the commencement of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, in which the three-time African champions host Lesotho’s Crocodiles in Uyo on 17th November before travelling away to play Zimbabwe four days later.


Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayaspor FC, Turkey)

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

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D’Tigers Storm China On Playing Tour 




Nigeria Senior Men Basketball team, D’Tigers this morning, left the country for China on a playing tour of games which began this weekend and will end on October 20th. 

 The team which failed in its quest to pick a slot for the 2024 Paris Pre-Olympic Qualifiers held in Lagos, will take part in games across different cities in China. 

Led by Coaches Abdulrahman Mohammed, Baba Jubril and Usman Yakubu, the players on the roster include, Afuwape Michael Okiki, Victor Ezeh, Timothy Kwaor, Ibe Agu, Michael Daramola and Chinedu Chimbou. 

Others are, Wisdom Anyaoha, Nnoruka Francis Junior, Chris Obekpa, Kingsley Onyekachi and Garba Chingka. 

A source within the Nigeria Basketball Federation disclosed that the playing tour is one of the several developmental programmes of the NBBF board led by its President Engr. Musa Kida. 

Adding that it is always a priority of the NBBF to continually develop the local game, while also increasing the pool of basketball talents in the country. 

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Liverpool say VAR error ‘undermined sporting integrity’




Liverpool have said the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) error that resulted in a goal by Luis Diaz being incorrectly disallowed in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham “undermined sporting integrity.”

Nine-man Liverpool lost after Joel Matip scored an own goal in stoppage time but they should have taken the lead in the first half through Diaz whose goal was ruled out for offside.

VAR failed to overturn the incorrect decision to disallow the goal leading the English referees’ body PGMOL to issue a statement blaming “significant human error” in the Premier League game.

“It is clear that the rules of the game were not applied correctly, which undermined sporting integrity,” Liverpool said in a statement on Sunday.

“It is therefore unsatisfactory that sufficient time was not given to allow the correct decision to be made and that there was no subsequent intervention.”

The PGMOL said disallowing the Diaz goal was a “clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention.”

PGMOL added that it will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.

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