London [UK], June 11 (ANI): The start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been delayed by a day after the coronavirus pandemic had a 'significant impact' to the international sporting calendar, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced.
The games will now commence on July 28, 2022, and will conclude on August 8.
"The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executive Board has approved a 24-hour change in the start date for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which will now begin on 28 July 2022, running through to 8 August 2022," CGF and Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee said in a statement.
This slight adjustment to the schedule is the result of multiple collaborative discussions between the leaders of some of the world's major sporting events. It ensures that Birmingham 2022 will now boast two full weekends of Commonwealth Sport whilst extending the rest and recovery period for those athletes competing in the World Athletics Championships.
The alteration to the opening ceremony date also avoids a potential clash with the semi-finals of the recently rescheduled UEFA Women's Football Championships, helping to protect and promote the profile of women's sport. The UEFA Women's Football Championships will further enhance the ever-growing popularity of women's football, while Birmingham 2022 is expected to be the first major multi-sport event in history to have more women's medal events than men's events.
The global pandemic has caused many major sport competitions to be cancelled or postponed. This includes both the World Athletics Championships, taking place in Oregon USA, and The UEFA Women's Football Championships, being held in England. Both events have now moved by 12 months from 2021 and will take place in July 2022.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the World Athletics Championships, the UEFA Women's Football Championships, and the multi-sport European Championships will now all be held over an exciting six-week period during the Summer of 2022.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said that he is pleased that 2022 will now be a 'real celebration' of women's sport.
"In unprecedented circumstances, I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership to ensure that the Commonwealth Games will take pride of place in what will be a fantastic summer of sport. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all areas of life, including the international sporting calendar, has been huge," Martin said in a statement.
"In adversity, I have been proud to work closely alongside partner International Federations and Governing Bodies to help shape a spectacular six-week period of elite sport. It demonstrates the very best of sport working at the service of athletes. On behalf of the Commonwealth Sports Movement, I am pleased that 2022 will now be a real celebration of women's sport," he added.
On the other hand, John Crabtree, Chairman of Birmingham 2022 said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on the international sporting calendar for the next couple of years. This has understandably needed to be reshaped and rewritten and we've spent the last few weeks working with other organisations to align, collaborate, and analyse what these changes mean for Birmingham 2022, our athletes, our spectators, our TV viewers, and our partners." (ANI)