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2021 Francophonie Games likely heading to the Congo after N.B. pulled out of hosting duties

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs speaks during a meeting of Canada's premiers in Montreal, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs speaks during a meeting of Canada's premiers in Montreal, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The committee in charge of the 2021 Francophonie Games is recommending that the Democratic Republic of Congo host the international event.

The event brings together 3,000 athletes and artists from la Francophonie’s more than 50 member states.

The announcement comes after New Brunswick, the original host of the games, pulled the plug on the event amid the event’s skyrocketing costs which had jumped from $17 million to $130 million.

Five members of the province’s organizing committee resigned when the numbers were released to the public.

READ MORE: Questions remain as New Brunswick officially withdraws Francophonie Games bid

Premier Blaine Higgs cited a lack of financial support from the federal government and the event’s cost when he announced his government’s decision in January.

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Higgs called it a “very difficult decision” but said paying the bill was “irresponsible.”

“None of these decisions were easy,” said Higgs.

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He went on to say that the games should be hosted by Canada and not just one individual province, adding he felt misled by the federal government about funding.

Representatives of Comité international des Jeux de la Francophonie put out a call for bids to host the games in February, saying they will work on an accelerated timeline to find a new host.

WATCH: Global News coverage of the 2021 Francophonie Games

It appears they found one in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

New Brunswick could still be on the hook to face a penalty for pulling out of the games although it’s not clear if taxpayers could be on the hook for the forfeited bid.

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