Sion has been chosen as the host city of the Western Switzerland project ©Getty Images

The State Councils of the cantons of Valais and Vaud have announced their formal support for a project from Western Switzerland to be the candidate for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

Titled the "Swiss Made Winter Games", the Western Switzerland project is one of four ongoing applications which are seeking to be selected by Swiss Olympic as their candidate for the Games.

The Council of State of Valais offered their support by contributing CHF4 million (£3.1million/$3.9 million/€3.7 million) towards the promotion of an “international application”.

A further CHF1 million (£790,000/$980,000/€930,000) will also be contributed by both the State Council of Vaud and the city of Sion.

It has been claimed the support was provided in view of the project’s desire to “take advantage of existing infrastructures”, with Vaud’s backing coming with the vow that several sport events will take place in the canton.

The support comes as a boost to the project with Swiss Olympic requiring proposals to have obtained clear support from the public authorities and contribute CHF8 million (£6.3 million/$7.8 million/€7.4 million) to the overall budget of CHF24 million (£18.9 million/$23.6 million/€22 million).

Remaining financing would be provided by Swiss Olympic and the country’s Government should the project - led by the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Of Industry (CVCI) and FC Sion President Christian Constantin - be selected as the candidate.

The difference between the sums contributed by the Cantons of Valais and Vaud is claimed to be because a referendum would be required in the latter should more than 1 million (£790,000/$980,000/€930,000) be contributed, while Valais is not subject to the same conditions.

Sion has been chosen as the host city for the project, while Montreux, who had also expressed interest in being the selected city, will also play an important role in their project.

FC Sion President Christian Constantin is leading the Western Switzerland project ©Getty Images
FC Sion President Christian Constantin is leading the Western Switzerland project ©Getty Images

The options for sport venues is expected to be revealed on December 16, with all four projects required to have submitted full details of their project to Swiss Olympic the day before.

A Swiss Olympic Executive Board meeting will take place to make a decision on the candidature in March, with their verdict subject to ratification by the Swiss Parliament of Sport, the supreme body of Swiss Olympic, in mid-April.

"The institutional support we are looking for is essential and is truly launching our application at the national level,” said Jean-Philippe Rochat, chairman of the Nominating Committee.

“We continue to work to rally other cantons of Western Switzerland such as Fribourg and Bern.

"Our priority is to arrive at December 15 with guaranteed financing and therefore not subject to a referendum.

“Between the cantons of Vaud and Valais and with the contribution of the private sector, we are at CHF6.5 million (£6.1million/$6.4 million/€6 million).

“For the remaining one and a half million, we are currently negotiating with Berne and Fribourg.”

All four candidates have taken part in three workshops aimed at helping to develop their projects, with a fifth candidate entitled "Central Switzerland 2026” having withdrawn from the process.

Along with the Western Switzerland effort, there are projects titled "Olympic Winter Games 2026 Graubünden and partners" and multi-region efforts "2026 - Games for our future" and "Switzerland 2026".