Downing Street says it hopes a "viable solution" can be found for the 2026 Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia, insisting the idea of the UK stepping in to host the event is "getting slightly ahead of ourselves".
However, Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf said he has asked his staff to "explore" the possibility of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games as part of a multi-country UK bid.
Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews announced the state's withdrawal on Tuesday, citing a substantial rise in predicted staging costs.
"This is a disappointing outcome for both fans and athletes," Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said.
"We hope that the Victoria state government, the Games federation and Commonwealth Games Australia will now work together to find a viable solution to hosting the event in 2026."
When the global governing body, the Commonwealth Games Federation, stripped South African city Durban of the hosting rights for 2022 back in 2017 Birmingham took over.
The event cost PS778m ($A1.5bn) to stage, split 75-25 between central Government and Birmingham City Council. An independent report published in January this year said Birmingham 2022 had contributed PS870.7m ($A1.7bn) to the UK economy..
Asked if the Government would encourage a home nation to step in to host the 2026 event, the spokesman said: "We are getting slightly ahead of ourselves.
"In the first instance it's for those bodies and groups I've just mentioned to have those discussions and see if a solution can be found.
"Obviously the UK has been honoured to host the Games twice in the past decade (Birmingham 2022 and Glasgow 2014) so we will see what comes out of those initial discussions."
The possibility was welcomed by Katie Sadleir, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation.
"The UK are fantastic hosts and we would be very open to having a conversation with them about it, if that's something they would be interested in doing," she said.
Yousaf said on STV, "let's see what the art of the possible may be. I have noted comments that Scotland could look to be part of something bigger, part of a multi-city, multi-country host. I've asked my team to explore whether that's a possibility or not."
The national Commonwealth federations of England, Scotland and Wales expressed their disappointment at the news concerning Victoria.
Commonwealth Games England described the news as "hugely unsettling" for athletes.
Australian Associated Press