Mr. Mustapha Ussif, Minister for Youth and Sports

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has initiated talks with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) regarding the possibility of hosting the 2026 Games in Accra, Ghana.

Speaking in an interview with GHOne TV in Accra, the Youth and Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif revealed that preliminary discussions with the CGF had been positive, with the federation expressing interest in having an African nation host the event.

“In fact, the president of Commonwealth Games was in Ghana. He has visited our facilities and held a meeting with myself. I had the opportunity of even attending some of their meetings,” Mr. Ussif indicated, highlighting the constructive dialogue between Ghana and the CGF.

The 2026 Games currently lack a host city after Malaysia rejected the CGF’s offer, citing time constraints, costs, and insufficient funding.

However, Ussif believes that hosting the Commonwealth Games in Ghana would not be as financially burdensome as other countries have experienced.

“It is not going to cost us as much as it cost us to organize the African Games if we decide as a country to go for Commonwealth Games.

“The beauty of the Commonwealth Games is that they will even give you funding that will come from Commonwealth Games Secretariat, unlike the African Games,” Mr. Ussif explained.

While the potential economic impact of hosting the Games remains uncertain, recent examples from other countries underscore the financial challenges involved.

Victoria, Australia, initially withdrew from hosting the Games due to the estimated $4.8 billion cost.

However, the state later agreed to pay $243 million to the CGF after terminating its contract.

Similarly, Birmingham, United Kingdom, experienced financial strain after hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with the Birmingham City Council declaring bankruptcy to address equal pay claims just a year later.

Ghana, having recently invested over $289 million in hosting the 2023 African Games, faces questions about the financial feasibility and funding sources for hosting the Commonwealth Games.

However, the prospect of showcasing Ghana’s capabilities on the international stage and bolstering its sports infrastructure may incentivize the government to pursue hosting the event despite potential challenges.