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 bid.

The Games were due to take place in Victoria, Australia, but the state abruptly pulled out on Tuesday citing rising costs.

With the Commonwealth Games Federation now saying it is open to discussions with any member nations interested in taking on the staging of the event, Yousaf said he would investigate what might be possible.

Yousaf said on STV: “First of all, I’m really disappointed in the news.

“We were desperate for the games to go ahead in 2026, given that we know how excellent the preparations have been going for Team Scotland, it’s also an opportunity for us to compete under the Scottish banner.

“Let’s see what the art of the possible may be. As I said, I have noted the comments from others that Scotland could look to be part of something bigger, part of a multi-city, multi-country host.

“So, I’ve seen those comments. I’ve asked my team to explore whether that’s a possibility or not, but it may be difficult, but let’s see what the art of the possible is.”

Scotland has hosted the Commonwealth Games on three occasions, twice in Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986, and most recently in Glasgow in 2014.