CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir, left, says the body's focus is Birmingham 2022 ©CGF

Despite lacking a host for the looming 2026 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022 is the focus of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), its chief executive has insisted.

The Birmingham Games are exactly 200 days away, and preparations are progressing well, the CGF claims, but a host to succeed the English city is yet to be found.

Canadian city Hamilton appeared to be the frontrunner, after the CGF encouraged a Bid Committee to pivot form 2030 to 2026, but the Ontario Government refused to back the bid, instead focusing on Toronto becoming a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup which is being staged in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The Hamilton bid has returned its focus to 2030.

Adelaide, Perth and Sydney in Australia have all been linked with bids, while the Indian Olympic Association in 2019 claimed it was interested in staging the Games for the second time, but no host has been announced, with the Games now a little more than four years away.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin previously said she was confident a 2026 host could be found, and chief executive Katie Sadleir has now doubled down on the claim, adding the change in restrictions on the number of sports included on the programme will aid prospective bidders.

Thanks to the radical Strategic Roadmap adopted by the CGF last year, only swimming and athletics will be compulsory sports at future Commonwealth Games after Birmingham 2022, providing greater flexibility for hosts to select a sports programme tailored to local interests and abilities

Previously there were 16 compulsory sports, with hosts now encouraged to select urban sports, esports and other disciplines that attract a younger audience. 

Co-hosting bids have also been encouraged to drive down costs, while Athletes' Villages are no longer required.

It is hoped these changes will encourage more bids to host future Games.

"I am often asked about the future of the Games because, in addition to delivering Birmingham 2022, a primary focus for me is obviously future editions of the competition, most notably in 2026," Sadleir wrote in an exclusive guest blog post for insidethegames

"I am fortunate here because shortly before I arrived, under the leadership of Dame Louise, our membership approved a new Strategic Roadmap to provide future hosts and sports with the renewed flexibility to be innovative in delivering the Games.

"It has put us in a wonderful position to do something creative and evolutionary with the event moving forwards, which has allowed us to have exciting conversations with potential future host cities."

However, Sadleir says that, for now, Birmingham 2022 is the CGF's main priority.

"Right now, though, for the CGF and its 72 nations and territories, priority number one is Birmingham 2022," she continued. 

"And, in 200 days' time, we will see 11 unforgettable days of competition that will promote Commonwealth Sport at its best and brightest."

Birmingham 2022 is due to commence on July 28, with a decision on the 2026 host expected this year.