South Africa 2023

Govt support key to SA's RWC 2023 bid

2017-08-14 15:02
Jurie Roux (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Government financial support and tournament guarantees were non negotiable for World Rugby to entertain South Africa’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Equally, there would have been no government RWC 2023 Tournament Fee guarantee of R2.7 billion if there was not a belief within government that hosting the biggest global sporting event of 2023 was an economic opportunity more than a sporting occasion.

The host selection process weighted criteria, as determined by World Rugby, puts a premium on government guarantees in relation to the respective World Cup bidding countries South Africa, France and Ireland.

The strength of the respective World Cup bids will be measured against a regulated World Rugby scorecard of:

Vision and concept 10%

Tournament, organisation and schedule 5%

Venues and host cities 30%

Tournament infrastructure 20%

Finance, commercial and commitments 35%

The Finance, Commercial and Commitments criteria is further broken down to: Legislation and Customs, Financial Feasibility, Commercial Rights and Financial Guarantees.

France’s government, from the outset, has been vocal in its support and definitive in providing detail of its financial guarantee to endorse the French bid. Ireland’s government, by way of various voices, has for the past two years been equally bullish in their endorsement but the government to date has yet to publicly detail the financial guarantee of R2.7 billion for the right to host the tournament.

The South African government, a week ago, confirmed its operational and financial support to the Bid and all signed commitments, which endorse the R2.7 billion financial guarantee, were delivered to World Rugby’s offices in Dublin before the July 31 deadline.

The South African government Ministry statement said: ‘The cabinet has approved the overall proposed package for this tournament which is an economic bid, which would minimise the demands on the fiscus, as well as stimulate economic activity, employment and empowerment. 

‘The tournament will contribute to stimulate our economy by supporting government priorities, especially as it relates to preferential procurement and adherence to the Sport Transformation Charter and the sharing of the profits derived. The event will further boost our tourism and hospitality sector. 

‘A successful bid will be a win-win for sport development, for the economy and for the nation as a whole.’

The South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux expressed his relief as much as his thanks that the government was finally on board as a bidding partner.

‘There has been a lot of behind the scenes work in the last six months between government, SA Rugby’s leadership and the South Africa 2023 Bid team. It’s been a healthy and invigorating experience and it has also strengthened the relationship between rugby and the government, which is essential to the health of the sport. We, at Rugby are thankful and grateful to the government. I believe we’ve done South Africa justice with the quality of the Bid.’

Roux told the media that the leadership within the South African Rugby Union had done (and continues to do) the introspection to get its own house in order, and that the government had been satisfied about the integrity in all that that the sport was doing to ensure its place in the South African sporting and social landscape.

‘In the end government backed us, we thanked them and the DG of Sport (Alec Moemi) did unbelievable work in getting that over the line, both in cabinet and all the relevant ministers. So we’re very excited.

‘We got all four guarantees in - the minister of trade and industry, home affairs, police, finance and sport combined in terms of the guarantee and we have a pretty competitive guarantee there at the moment.’

Roux was upbeat that the work within South Africa had been done to satisfy all the components of a compelling bid and welcomed the opportunity to share South Africa’s 2023 World Cup vision with World Rugby’s Council on September 25.

The Board of Rugby World Cup Ltd, based on the independent evaluation process, will in mid-October issue a recommendation to World Rugby Council as to who should be the 2023 hosts.

The World Rugby Council will vote to determine the host on November 15. It is a straight majority vote and the winning country must secure a 19-strong majority from the 37 World Council votes.

If no country gets a majority in the first round of voting then the country with the least number of votes at that point is eliminated. In the event of a split decision, the chairperson, has the casting vote. 

None of the three bidding countries can vote.   

Read more on:    world rugby  |  rwc 2023  |  rugby
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