March 20 - Commonwealth Games England (CGE) have welcomed London's interest in mounting a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the city but said they are still assessing whether or not to move for the event.
The Greater London Authority made clear their intention to host the event as the Mayor's Olympic legacy adviser Neale Coleman revealed this week that the city is looking to use the facilities in place from the Olympics and Paralympics last year to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
It comes after key figures including Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell and Sport England chief executive Jenny Price already pledged to back any potential bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The UK is already set to host the Commonwealth Games next year with Glasgow 2014 while the Gold Coast in Australia will stage the 2018 edition of the event.
But any London 2022 bid would have to be submitted and led by CGE as the country's governing body and, despite welcoming the interest, the organisation said their Board would need to meet to discuss carefully whether or not to bid.
"Based on recent media reports, we believe the Greater London Authority's interest in a London bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be a positive initiative," said a Commonwealth Games England statement.
"However, we can confirm that to date we have not made a formal expression of interest in bidding for the Games and instead remain focused on preparations for Glasgow 2014.
"Our Board is planning to assess the merits of an English bid, and we will consult with our stakeholders in order to evaluate our position.
"It is our intention to send the strongest and best-prepared England team ever to Glasgow next year, and we continue to work towards achieving this aim."
As well as London, both Birmingham and Sheffield have expressed an interest in bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in England but the CGE Board would most likely opt for a bid from the capital give that the majority of the technical infrastructure from the Olympics and Paralympics.
The only previous occasions on which England has held the Games they did not face a competitive bid process.
London were awarded them in 1934 - when they were still known as the British Empire Games - because the original choice, Johannesburg, was stripped of the event amid concerns of concerns about the way South Africa would treat black and Asian athletes.
And when Manchester were awarded them for 2002, at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in Bermuda in 1995, no-one had bid against them.
The CGE is chaired by Sir Andrew Foster while it also consists of former England netball captain Karen Atkinson, Arsenal Football Club marketing director Angus Kinnear, sports business consultant Hamish McInnes, Speedo International President David Robinson, Carphone Warehouse Group co-founder David Ross, former PricewaterhouseCoopers senior partner Joe Ryan, communications expert Martin Thomas and C&C Alpha Group executive director Bhanu Choudhrie.
Although the official Candidature Procedure has not yet been drawn up by the CGF, it is understood by insidethegames that the deadline for Commonwealth Games Associations/Candidate Cities to notify CGF of intention to bid will come around March or April in 2014.
The Candidate Cities will then be expected to participate in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Observers Programme while bids are to be officially lodged to the CGF by May 2015.
Visits from the CGF Evaluation Commission will then follow before a host is elected by the Commonwealth Games Associations at the CGF General Assembly at the end of 2015.
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