Villa Park will no longer be a host venue at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The unexpected change comes because it is anticipated the football season will start earlier that year, with the World Cup in Qatar being in November.

As a result, there cannot be a commitment that Aston Villa’s 43,000-seater stadium will be available for the dates required for the Games in July and August.

The change – following a review – means having to relocate to the smaller Coventry Stadium, the home of Wasps.

Judo and wrestling will now be held on the same site in Coventry.

Netball will move from the Coventry Indoor Arena to the bigger National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, which will be a boost to the sport.

Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid said: “We have been considering how best to optimise the mix of venues available to us, making sure we’re being as efficient as possible in terms of usage and cost, and ensuring we’re developing a fantastic experience and showcase for the sport, the athletes, the spectators and the host city and region.

“We are delighted to be able to relocate netball into a larger venue as this sport’s profile has massively increased since the 2017 bid.

“We’re disappointed Villa Park will unfortunately no longer be part of our venue portfolio. However, we hope to continue working closely with Aston Villa in the run-up to the Games.”

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