Editorials 22.12.2017 06:19 am

So England gets the Durban Games

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 3, 2004 shows Ugo Ehiogu (R) of Middlesborough passing Birmingham City's Mikael Forssell during the Premiership football match at St. Andrews in Birmingham.
Former England international Ugo Ehiogu has died after suffering a suspected heart attack at the age of 44, Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed on April 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 3, 2004 shows Ugo Ehiogu (R) of Middlesborough passing Birmingham City's Mikael Forssell during the Premiership football match at St. Andrews in Birmingham. Former England international Ugo Ehiogu has died after suffering a suspected heart attack at the age of 44, Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed on April 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

It is all just a sad reminder of what could have been.

It’s taken a while, but Birmingham were yesterday finally given the green light to host the Durban Commonwealth Games in 2022.

It’s referred to as the Durban Commonwealth Games because the KwaZulu-Natal city somehow managed to lose a one-horse race to host the Games due to financial constraints.

After initially being awarded the rights to host the Commonwealth Games in 2015, the South African government and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) failed to meet deadlines, and were finally stripped of the event in March because they didn’t meet promises contained in their bid.

Many will argue that it was a good thing South Africa were stripped of the right to host the Games due to our ailing economy, but it’s the athletes and locals that will lose out on international competition on their doorstep.

Also, don’t underestimate what a boost the influx of foreigners would have done for the economy and tourism. But that’s history, so good luck to Birmingham and England.

It’s been a rough year for South African sports fans. Just last month South Africa were pipped at the post by France in their bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

It is all just a sad reminder of what could have been.

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