Birmingham has been chosen ahead of Liverpool to be the UK’s bid for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event.

The Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit (CGDU) made the announcement yesterday (Thursday) and Birmingham will now face competition from an Australian candidate (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth) and the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The Commonwealth Games Federation is seeking a new host for its showpiece event in 2022 after the South African city of Durban withdrew its rights earlier this year following long-running financial issues.

The Birmingham bid team welcomed the CGDU’s decision. “This is a great endorsement by the UK Government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event,” Ian Ward, deputy leader and chair of Birmingham’s bid committee, said.

“We appreciate that it was a very close decision and that Liverpool pushed us all the way with a very compelling proposal. This is not the end of the journey and we look forward to working with the Government as it makes its final decision to support a UK Candidate City.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: “The regional support of the Midlands was a key determining factor and I want to thank all those regional agencies and organisations that have worked hard over the last six months to get us to this position. We will make the Commonwealth proud.”

Birmingham plans on staging athletics events at the 12,700-seat Alexander Stadium during the Games.

Liverpool had planned on using the future home stadium of Premier League football club Everton as the site for its athletics competitions.