BIRMINGHAM is still waiting to be officially endorsed as host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games despite remaining the only public bidder.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said it is close to confirming the replacement for Durban, which was stripped in March, but “require(s) further clarification on a range of issues”.

Birmingham thought it had won the race to stage the Games in September when the city emerged as the only bidder – only for the CGF to deem its bid not “fully compliant”.

The extended deadline for further bids or expressions of interest passed last week with no more evident developments despite the CGF claiming to have examined bids or prospective bids from as many as eight cities.

Although Birmingham remains the overwhelming favourite to host the 2022 event, this week’s news will come as a blow to their hopes of beginning their relatively short cycle as official host city.

It is believed the CGF’s reluctance to confirm the move is related to a desire for clarification of government guarantees – one of the main reasons why the Durban bid floundered in March.

In a statement following a meeting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Coordination Commission on the Gold Coast, the CGF said: “It is essential that we have fully examined all aspects of the cities’ bid submissions and expressions of interest, and that we are fully satisfied that the ultimate host for 2022 is capable of staging a Games that fully delivers for Commonwealth athletes and host communities.

“The CGF is close to making a decision to select the host city of the 2022 Games. We thank all nations who have participated in the process.

The CGF is confident that we will make a final decision regarding the selection of a host city for 2022 before the year-end.”