Govt won't support Cape Town Sevens - Mbalula

2016-04-25 14:53
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo)

Pretoria - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says the measures taken against federations lagging behind in transformation will result in government not supporting events in the country, including the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series tournament in Cape Town later this year.

"It will apply to that because it refers to international bidding and hosting of tournaments," Mbalula responded to a question regarding the hosting of the tournament.

"That particular hosting will apply to the federations that have committed to hosting international tournaments that government will not rubber stamp or support."

The Cape Town Sevens tournament is scheduled to take place on the weekend of December 12-13.

Mbalula on Monday announced that he had suspended the privileges of SA Rugby, Cricket South Africa and Athletics SA from bidding for international tournaments due to lack of transformation.

"I have resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa (ASA), Cricket South Africa (CSA), Netball South Africa (NSA) and South African Rugby (SARU) to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic of South Africa as a consequence of the aforementioned federations, not meeting their own set transformation targets with immediate effect. I will review this decision when considering the results of the 2016/2017 Transformation Barometer," he said.

Mbalula made the announcement during the release of the report by the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in Sport in Pretoria. Mbalula said the decision taken was part of the punitive measures that could be implemented by government.

He said, while they were giving the federations time to clean up their acts, they would not be allowed to host "mega events" in the country.

"It means those federations in the year under review; they will not be in a position to host or bid for any competition, small or big, internationally. We will not support them and at the same time that will not be undertaken because as much as work has been done, there is still gaps in terms of the big five federations," he said.

Mbalula added that SA Ruby still had some time to get its affairs in order before the bidding process for the 2023 World Cup started.

"Rugby will not be in a position to host mega events in terms of the Springboks when it relates to the World Cup hosting that involves everything. If it’s international, we will not support. If they are able to correct their errors that will be good, but if they are not, the punishment increases,” said Mbalula.

He said the department was not constricted to the measure being implemented now. He said this was just one of the ways to indicate to the sporting federations that government had power and that it would use it to ensure transformation was achieved.

"This Eminent Persons Group is not just fluke or something that can be done without follow-up action. It will be up for review for 2017/2018 and equally if they are not moving, the punishment will increase, but we just can’t start from the biggest, which means total participation, isolation. We have that, it is within our powers," he said. 

Read more on:    sevens  |  fikile mbalula  |  cape town  |  rugby

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