SA Rugby submits bid to host RWC 2023
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.