March 17 - Singapore has the capabilities to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games if it decides to bid, a leading Government official there has claimed.
Koh Peng Keng, Singapore's Director of the Sports Division in the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, admitted that the event could be a target after it successfully hosted the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
The Commonwealth Games Movement is known to be keen to take the event to a new territory which means that Singapore would prove a formidable candidate should they chose to bid for the 2022 competition.
Keng, who serves as the desk head in the Ministry for the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Sports School, admitted that it something that the city could do.
"I think the Commonwealth Games is possibly the largest event we could undertake," he told insidethegames.
"Anything bigger than that, for a small city like Singapore, would be a tremendous challenge.
"For example, we could not host a competition on the scale of the Olympic Games and that is why we went for the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
"But the Commonwealth Games is just about on the limit of what we think we could comfortably host."
There has already been early interest in bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games with Canada having declared that it will bid for the competition and Hambantota in Sri Lanka said to be discussing a new bid following their failure to secure the 2018 event, which went to Australia's Gold Coast.
Reports suggest Christchurch in New Zealand is another city looking to bid as part of a major rebuilding mission following devastating earthquakes in the region in 2010 and 2011, while South Africa could also table a bid, with Durban being the most likely city to be put forward.
The event itself will not actually be awarded to a city until the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in 2015.
But Keng, a graduate of the London School of Economics, admitted that Singapore is yet to hold formal discussions about bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and that their main focus is currently on staging the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
"We haven't really looked at the 2022 Commonwealth Games too closely at this stage," he explained.
"Our immediate focus right now is on 2015 when we will host the Southeast Asian Games and we really want to take it one event at the time.
"But hosting big sporting events is very important for us.
"The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games allowed us to define what the event was and we are pleased with what we did there.
"We also host the Singapore Grand Prix annually, which is one of the major events on the [Formula One] calendar in the city.
"So bidding for big events is always something high on our agenda and it is something I know we will look at in more depth as we get closer."
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