'No exceptions' for RWC 2023 bid

2016-04-26 21:23
Fikile Mbalula

Cape Town - The SA Department of Sport and Recreation says there will be no exceptions made to allow South Africa to bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

On Monday, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula banned the governing bodies of netball, athletics, cricket and rugby from bidding for, and hosting, major international events after an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report indicated that all of those sports had failed to transform. 

The ban would be reviewed after the next EPG report is tabled, and that is only expected to happen midway through 2017, according to the department. 

SA Rugby confirmed that they would be engaging with the ministry regarding the ban and how it would affect ambitions to host the World Cup in 2023. 

But the word coming out of national government on Tuesday was not positive. 

Bidding for the 2023 World Cup opened in May last year, with nations having been given a one-month window to express their interest. 

South Africa - alongside Italy, Ireland and France - have since been identified as the possible host nations for the tournament. 

Next month World Rugby will send the relevant 'tender information' to all of the interested parties, who will then have until June 2016 to respond with the details that formulate their bids. 

The current ban suggests that SA Rugby would not be able to engage in that process.

World Rugby will announce the host nation in November 2017. 

Department of Sport and Recreation spokesperson Esethu Hasane confirmed to Sport24 that there would be "no exceptions" regarding rugby's ambitions to host the World Cup in 2023. 

"There will be no special arrangements made for anybody," Hasane said. 

"When the minister addressed the gathering yesterday (Monday) he did not say that there would be exceptions made."

Hasane confirmed that the earliest the ban could be lifted was when the next EPG report is discussed, and he expected that to be in "around May" next year. 

By then it could be too late in terms of securing 2023 hosting rights. 

Hasane said a meeting between SA Rugby and the minister would not be a problem. 

"Whenever there is a request from a federation to meet with the minister, those meetings happen. It is not unusual," he said. 

"At this stage I am not aware of any request from SA Rugby to meet with the minister."

Read more on:    sa rugby  |  rugby world cup  |  fikile mbalula  |  rugby

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