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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 19:56 GMT
The race for 2014

By Annie McGuire

Glasgow is bidding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games
For voters on 9 November, the choice of hosts for the 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a stark one.

The Nigerian city of Abuja has the emotional pull of hosting the first African games, while Glasgow is seen as the technically superior bid.

The games themselves have been running since 1930 which could lead many to see a visit to the world's poorest continent as being somewhat overdue.

With 18 of the 71 countries eligible to vote coming from Africa this could pose a threat to the Glasgow bid.

The Nigerian bid will offer more hard cash (around 15,000) in the form of a sports development grant to each competing nation.

But Glasgow have been assiduous in their campaigning ahead of the ballot, visiting 67 of the member nations (including all the African countries with the exception of Sierra Leone).

Population 1.8m (including surrounding areas)
Three international airports within 1 hrs journey time
Previously hosted Champions League final, Uefa Cup final and international events in all 17 proposed sports

They have also invited all delegates to visit Scotland ahead of the games - one group of Carribean representatives were particularly impressed by the scenes in the city centre as James McFadden scored the winning goal against France in October.

There is no arguing with the technical superiority of the Scottish bid.


September's official evaluation report praised Glasgow for being able to "continue to enhance the image and prestige of the games".

It went on to criticise Abuja for a "lack of detailing planning" and having "significant matters requiring amendment regarding the overall programme".

The statistics are also fairly damning for Nigeria.

Seventy percent of Glasgow's infrastructure is already in place, with funds for the remaining 30% clearly shown to be available.

Another strength of the Glasgow bid are the personnel behind it.

Population estimated to be 4m by 2014
International airport able to handle 4.5 million by 2012
Hosted 2003 all Africa games with athletes from all 53 nations

Chair of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland Louise Martin has just been elected unopposed for a third term as Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation and has been beating a path round voters to emphasise the strength of the bid.

Director Derek Casey was also involved in Manchester's successful bid for the games, while spokesman Rob Shorthouse has previously worked for both The Scottish Executive and at 10 Downing Street.

And in terms of big name backers all voters have received a letter from Sir Sean Connery urging them to support Glasgow's bid.

But it remains to be seen whether 007 will help Glasgow reach its own magic number of 36 votes in Sri Lanka.

  • 36 is the number of votes required at the meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • All 71 member countries have a single vote and with just two cities competing a simple majority is all that is required.
  • Both Glasgow and Abuja will offer voters a half hour presentation on their bids - followed by an ten minute question and answer session.
  • The Scottish team are up first at 1100 GMT.
  • The announcement is expected around 1245 GMT - and will be live on both BBC One Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland.
  • In the event of a draw after the first vote (which could happen with a spoiled ballot paper or if a delegate is unable to attend) all delegates will vote again.
  • If Abuja and Glasgow are STILL level, the Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell will have a casting vote.
  • Back in Glasgow, the announcement will be covered on big screens at The Fruitmarket, with events also being held at some of the sports venues where the 2014 games would be held.

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