Mo­ment of truth for SA’s Cup bid

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

Nel­son Man­dela, then seen as one of the pil­lars of white apartheid rule – hand­ing the tro­phy to white Spring­bok cap­tain Fran­cois Pien­aar.

South Africa vice-pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the ar­chi­tects of the rel­a­tively peace­ful tran­si­tion from apartheid, said a 2023 World Cup in the coun­try would serve as af­fir­ma­tion of much of what the late Man­dela stood for.

“In 1995 it was an al­most-white team,” said Ramaphosa when he added his size­able po­lit­i­cal weight to the fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tion in Septem­ber.

“In 2023 it will be a di­verse rugby team and prove to the world what Nel­son Man­dela said, that rugby is a great uni­fier.”

The Ir­ish too have in­vested a huge amount of po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal into the bid with Prime Min­is­ter Leo Varad­kar lead­ing the bid pre­sen­ta­tion and se­cur­ing the sup­port of his Bri­tish coun­ter­part Theresa May – plus the cross-bor­der sup­port of all the North­ern Ir­ish par­ties.

The Ir­ish, prob­a­bly for the first time in bid his­tory, cited Al­bert Ein­stein in their let­ter seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion about the dis­ap­point­ing as­sess­ment of their bid.

Philip Browne, the dy­namic CEO of the Ir­ish Rugby Foot­ball Union, ad­mit­ted that not even the great man could help rec­on­cile World Rugby’s vi­sion of the tour­na­ment with Ire­land’s views.

The French would de­liver the most money for the sport but their bid has been be­dev­illed by in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal prob­lems sur­round­ing fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Bernard La­porte. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.