Dan Andrews has faced calls for his resignation after the Commonwealth Games were canceled due to funding issues

Dan Andrews has faced calls for his resignation after the Commonwealth Games were canceled due to funding issues

Angry Australians – including famous faces – called for Daniel Andrews to resign after he announced the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be canceled due to funding problems.

Premier made the announcement on Tuesday, with the games’ apex body revealing it had been told just eight hours earlier.

‘What has become clear is that the cost of hosting these games is not the $2.6 billion that was allocated, it is at least $6 billion or $7 billion,’ he said.

The hosting rights for the 2026 event were awarded to regional Victoria last year after none of the 70 Commonwealth Games Federation nations put their hands up.

Mr Andrews said he would not take funding from hospitals and schools to fund the event, but many criticized the Prime Minister’s decision.

Angry Victorians call for Daniel Andrews to resign after 2026 Commonwealth Games announced to be canceled over funding issues

Journalist Sandra Sully said the decision was a ‘watershed’ moment for Australian grassroots sport.

“The future health of our children is at stake,” he tweeted.

‘As a sport we are among the best in the world yet we struggle every year to support the thousands of kids who want to play … not just for sport but for Australia.’

Sully, who is vice-president of Hockey Australia, also shared a statement released by the sports body.

Hockey Australia said it was a ‘missed opportunity’ to build their profile playing hockey and other Commonwealth Games.

“Our dedicated, hard-working athletes will miss the cherished and rare opportunity to compete on home soil in front of friends, family and the Australian sporting public,” the statement said.

Australia celebrates victory during the netball gold medal match against Jamaica at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. The Commonwealth Games are important for netballers as the sport is not played in the Olympics

‘Hockey is a sport with a strong bond, particularly in regional Australia, so this announcement will be disappointing for people in regional Victorian communities who will be able to support and watch the Hawkeyes and Kookaburras in action.

“For junior grassroots hockey players, the exposure these games will provide and the opportunity for these players to see their heroes up close in their own backyard is now a missed opportunity. You cannot be what you cannot see.’

Former United Australia Party MP Craig Kelly said Mr Andrews was a ‘national disgrace’.

‘He ran out of other people’s money. His hysterical Covid policies and years of vote-buying politicking spending – all with borrowed money have left Victoria broke,’ he said.

‘Dan Andrews should resign in disgrace.’

Others also expressed their views, with one saying Mr Andrews had lost his support.

Journalist Sandra Sully said the decision was a ‘watershed’ moment for Australian grassroots sport.

Former federal MP Craig Kelly said Mr Andrews was a ‘national disgrace’ in a condemnation.

‘Dan has been your supporter and protector for so long, even in lockdown,’ they said.

‘I’m done now, you’ve lost me. For the betterment of all Australians you must resign.’

Another said it was an ’embarrassing failure’.

‘Just resign and end it now! Victoria is the laughingstock of the country,” they tweeted.

Swimming Australia head coach Rohan Taylor was also shocked by the decision and hopes the 2026 edition will be moved, describing the Games as crucial in the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics.

Other Victorians also slammed the Premier for the decision to cancel the Games

‘It’s disappointing for the Australian public to miss out on that event, which we know is a fantastic opportunity for our athletes to represent their country,’ Taylor told AAP.

‘I’m disappointed they don’t get the chance to do that… Athletes perform in front of home crowds.

“It’s not just swimming, it’s a really important competition for our nation.

“It’s always good to have international competition, especially with Brisbane (the Olympics) building up.”

A total of 307 of Australia’s 1001 gold medals – the most of any nation at the Commonwealth Games – have been won in the pool.

Meanwhile, some Victorians have applauded Mr Andrews for his decision, saying the funding is needed elsewhere.

‘Dan Andrews is doing exactly what he was re-elected to do. Put Victoria first. The Commonwealth Games are irrelevant,’ wrote one.

‘Hard times for many people are now affecting food, shelter, health, transport. Dan Andrews has shown true leadership and made the right decision,’ said another.

‘It’s good. Who tells a rat about sports when housing is an issue

The reason behind the decision to push is the state’s finance crisis, with Victoria’s debt forecast to hit $135.4 billion in 2024, rising to $171.4 billion by 2026-27.

‘I will not be taking money from hospitals and schools to fund an event that is three times what was estimated and budgeted for last year,’ Mr Andrews said.

In an angry statement, the Commonwealth Games Federation said it had only been told of Victoria’s decision hours earlier.

“We are disappointed that we were given only eight hours’ notice and no consideration was given to discuss the situation to jointly find a solution before the government reached this decision,” it said in a statement.

Swimming champion James Magnussen said the decision was a bitter blow to athletes

‘Up to this point, the Government had advised that adequate funding was available to deliver the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria.’

Legendary sports broadcaster Bruce McAveney said the stunning announcement was an ’embarrassment’.

He said the Games now faced a ‘huge challenge’ and the event could end altogether.

‘It’s a big shock… I didn’t see it coming,’ McAvanney told Radio 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Swimming champion James Magnussen said the decision was a bitter blow to athletes.

Very disappointing as an athlete. The Common Games hold a special place in the Australian sporting calendar,’ said Commonwealth Games gold medalist Magnussen.

‘A Home Games inspires a whole new generation of athletes and is one of the few recruitment tools in a sport like swimming.

‘It is also disappointing for rural Victoria’s athletes and coaches, who were set to benefit from new and/or upgraded facilities.’

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