CGames: Organisers expect Gambia withdrawal

Organisers of the 2014 Commonwealth Games have said that they do not expect the Gambia to compete at next year's event following the country's withdrawal from the Commonwealth.

The west African country announced last week that it was leaving the Commonwealth, largely made up of former British colonies, saying it will "never be a member of any neo-colonial institution".

As a result, the number of countries and territories competing at the quadrennial event in the Scottish city of Glasgow is set to fall to 70.

"All Commonwealth nations and territories are entitled to compete in the Commonwealth Games," said a spokesman from Glasgow 2014 late on Sunday.

"Glasgow 2014 has received confirmation from the Commonwealth Games Federation of the formal withdrawal of The Gambia from the Commonwealth.

"It is our understanding, therefore, that The Gambia does not intend to enter a team and compete in next year's Games."

The route of an international baton relay, which is due to begin in London this week and which will visit all the competing nations, will now be adjusted.

"As Gambia has formally withdrawn from the Commonwealth, alternative plans will now be made and the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay will not visit The Gambia," the spokesman added.

"This planning is now under development in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Federation and we will provide further information in the near future."

Last week, Britain's Foreign Office said The Gambia's decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth was something to "very much regret".