SA Rugby sub­mits bid to host RWC 2023

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

CAPE TOWN — SA Rugby on Thurs­day sub­mit­ted doc­u­ments to World Rugby con­firm­ing it is still in con­tention to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby’s “Ap­pli­cant Sub­mis­sion” dead­line was at mid­night on Septem­ber 1, and ac­cord­ing to TimesLIVE, SA Rugby ful­filled the re­quire­ment, al­beit with a de­gree of un­cer­tainty hang­ing over its el­i­gi­bil­ity to host the event.

SA Rugby re­port­edly went through the process to meet World Rugby’s re­quire­ments in or­der not to miss the dead­line‚ but still lacks the back­ing of Gov­ern­ment — a vi­tal pre-req­ui­site to a fi­nal bid.

Sports Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula ear­lier this year banned the fed­er­a­tions in con­trol of rugby, cricket, ath­let­ics and net­ball in South Africa from “bid­ding for or host­ing any ma­jor sport­ing events”.

This fol­lowed the re­lease of the Em­i­nent Per­sons Group (EPG) re­port that re­vealed that all four of those fed­er­a­tions had failed in meet­ing their trans­for­ma­tion tar­gets.

In March 2017, Mbalula will de­cide whether to con­tinue with the sus­pen­sion‚ or re­scind it‚ once he has stud­ied the EPG’s re­view.

That would be too late for a RWC 2023 bid as that process has now started, but it is be­lieved that there have been meet­ings and lob­by­ing be­tween SA Rugby and Mbalula be­hind the scenes.

Other na­tions who have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in host­ing the 2023 World Cup in­clude Ire­land, Italy and France.

Coun­tries that meet the cri­te­ria out­lined by World Rugby will move to the can­di­date phase on Novem­ber 1‚ 2016, af­ter which the host of the tour­na­ment in 2023 will be an­nounced in Novem­ber 2017.

Ja­pan will host the next World Cup in 2019. — Sport24.

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