Commonwealth Games Australia CEO responds after event axed

Commonwealth Games Australia Chief Executive Officer Craig Phillips says the Victorian government’s decision to axe the 2026 games is ‘beyond disappointing’.

Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Expresses Disappointment Over Event Cancellation

Melbourne, July 18, 2023 – In the wake of the Victorian government’s unexpected decision to axe the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) Chief Executive Officer Craig Phillips has spoken out, labelling the move as ‘beyond disappointing.’

Phillips expressed his dismay during a press conference, criticizing the Victorian government for disregarding the economic and social benefits that the Games would have brought to the region.

“The decision to cancel the event is not just about sports. It’s about the potential economic boost, job creation, tourism, and the chance to showcase Victoria on a global stage,” said Phillips. “This decision has wilfully ignored these significant benefits.”

The CGA CEO also rejected the financial justifications given by Premier Daniel Andrews for cancelling the event, stating: “The projected costs cited by the government do not align with our estimates. We believe the long-term benefits significantly outweigh the short-term investment.”

Phillips’ comments reflect a broader sense of frustration within the sporting world. The cancellation marks a significant setback for athletes preparing for the event and raises questions about the future viability of the Commonwealth Games.

Despite the disappointment, Phillips emphasized that the CGA remains committed to its athletes and the Commonwealth sporting community. “Our focus now is to work with the Commonwealth Games Federation to explore all other opportunities,” he said.

The CGA’s response underscores the deep divide between the sporting and political arenas over the controversial decision. As the fallout continues, the question remains as to who will step forward to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

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