Manchester has emerged as rivals to Liverpool for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after it was revealed the African City of Durban could no longer host the event due to financial difficulties.
The city of Liverpool was previously preparing a bid for the 2026 games, but are now thought to be prepared to take on the challenge four years earlier than expected.
However, the Manchester Evening News has reported that Manchester are already in deep discussions with the government about hosting the Commonwealth Games – two decades since it was last held there.
Liverpool Major Joe Anderson wrote to sports minister Tracey Crocuh, and said Liverpool would have “no problem” being ready for the Games by 2022.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: “We knew that Durban was in trouble so we met with government officials last week in which we made it clear we would be very keen to host the games in 2022.
“I have also written to Tracey Crouch and assured her that we would be ready for that date – I am very confident that the city will be able to cope with the demands of holding the games then.
“These games give us a great opportunity to regenerate the north of Liverpool and create a lasting legacy.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation will need to consider all options before making a decision, but Joe Anderson believes Liverpool is in “a good position” to host them.
South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula told press agency Reuters: “We gave it our best shot but we can’t go beyond. If the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t.”
After the Commonwealth Games Federation made the final decision to withdraw Durban as the host city in 2022.