BIRMINGHAM has been chosen ahead of Liverpool as the recommended city for England’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Having beaten Liverpool in a tight race to win the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s backing, Birmingham must now convince the government to approve the bid and underwrite the event’s costs.

In a statement, sports minister Tracey Crouch said: “I am grateful to the bid teams from both Birmingham and Liverpool for their hard work in making the case for their respective cities as potential Commonwealth Games hosts.

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“Now, after a comprehensive assessment process, the government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

“We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.

“The UK has fantastic expertise in hosting the biggest events in sport, as recently showcased at the London 2017 World Para Athletics and IAAF World Championships, and if we are to bid and are selected to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 I have no doubt that Birmingham would host an excellent sporting spectacle.”

The call on whether Birmingham 2022 will deliver what DCMS has described as “clear value for taxpayers’ money” will be made in the coming weeks, with the CGF’s final decision on where the Games will be held expected by the end of the year.

The event became unexpectedly available in March, when the CGF stripped the South African city of Durban of the right to stage the Games because of financial issues.

That effectively wasted two years of preparation time and fired the gun on an abridged bidding contest for a late replacement.

With Birmingham already doing a feasibility study for a bid for the 2026 edition, the midlands city had a clear early advantage over Liverpool.

After making initial applications, the cities were visited twice by an independent assessment panel set up by DCMS panel this summer and at least once by the CGF, with revised bids going in three weeks ago.

Both bids had strengths and weaknesses, and it is understood Liverpool closed the gap in terms of impressing the panel and the CGF’s inspection team.

Ultimately, however, Birmingham’s bid has been judged to have more certainty, largely because they already have a main venue for the athletics and ceremonies at the Alexander Stadium, whereas Liverpool were proposing to stage the athletics on a temporary track in Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Birmingham were also commended for their management of risk, existing infrastructure and plans for a long-term sporting legacy.