South Africa 2023

Rugby chiefs hit back as 2023 tensions escalate

2017-11-04 20:57
Bernard Laporte (Gallo)

London - World rugby chiefs on Saturday hit back after French federation boss Bernard Laporte criticised the technical report for the 2023 World Cup amid an escalating war of words between the bidders.

The Rugby World Cup Board unanimously recommended earlier this week that the World Rugby Council award the tournament to South Africa when they vote later this month.

Laporte told AFP on Friday that he wants the report recommending South Africa to be modified, believing that France's credentials have been underrated.

He questioned how South Africa was deemed to outperform France on issues such as quality of hotels, stadiums and doping.

Ireland reacted furiously to South Africa Rugby CEO Jurie Roux suggesting the race was over and that they and the French should take the "moral high ground" so nothing untoward happens between now and the vote.

But World Rugby, the game's governing body, hit back in a statement on Saturday.

"World Rugby is concerned by the reported comments by host candidates regarding the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process and recommendation, and in particular those attributed to the Federation Francaise de Rugby," they said.

"While disappointment and high emotion following the announcement of a recommendation is understandable, such comments are both unfounded and inaccurate."

The governing body, whose chairman is former England captain Bill Beaumont, said their selection process had been transparent and third party experts were also involved in the technical evaluation.

"The process has been supported by the host candidates, the Rugby World Cup Board and Council throughout," the statement added.

"We will be raising our concerns on this matter with the Federation Francaise de Rugby and look forward to the World Rugby Council appointing the Rugby World Cup 2023 host on 15 November with a clear, comprehensive and objective recommendation to consider."

Read more on:    world rugby  |  rwc 2023  |  bernard laporte  |  rugby
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