Cape Town – SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says it is “imperative” that South Africa hosts the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The country is hoping to host its first World Cup since 1995 and delegates from World Rugby were in South Africa last month to help ensure that SA Rugby’s bidding documents were in order.
The final date for submissions to World Rugby from potential host nations is June 1, with South Africa up against France and Ireland for the rights to host the global showpiece in 2023.
The major stumbling block to the bid has been government’s position.
Last April, former sports minister Fikile Mbalula banned the organisations in charge of rugby, cricket, netball and athletics in South Africa from bidding for or hosting major international sporting events based on the findings released in last year’s Eminent Person’s Group (EPG) report.
The report suggested that rugby, and the other sports affected by the ban, had not done enough to facilitate transformation.
There had been some confusion over what SA Rugby’s targets were and the criteria used for measurements in the EPG report, but that has all been resolved now and SA Rugby and government are supposedly on the same page.
If SA Rugby meets its targets when the next EPG report is released, then the ban will be lifted and government will presumably get behind the 2023 bid.
Alexander, speaking at SA Rugby’s AGM in Cape Town on Thursday, was hopeful.
“Hosting the Rugby World Cup for the second time in 28 years is imperative both for our game and our country,” he said.
“We offer World Rugby the chance to put on a highly profitable and unforgettable tournament in unbeatable stadiums and conditions. We have shown our hunger and passion for the tournament by bidding for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 events. We are ready.
“Rugby belongs to the people of South Africa. It is a national asset and it has the power to build our nation. We will do it by being a winning team on and off the field. We will be the leading rugby nation.”
A final decision on the 2023 host nation is expected from World Rugby in November.
Story by: #jjbEngage
Source: SA RUGBY