South Africa

Sports minister sets sights on 2023 World Cup bid

2018-06-24 06:41
Tokozile Xasa (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sport and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa has confirmed that her department will support all of the country's bids to host different women's international events, including the 2023 Netball World Cup.

However, she said she would first go through all the proposals and assess if the country could afford the cost of hosting events of such magnitude.

She also revealed that the SA Football Association (SAFA) had not contacted her department about its wish to host the 2023 Women's Soccer World Cup.

However, SAFA vice-president Ria Ledwaba said the association would meet with Xasa when its president, Danny Jordaan, returned from the World Cup in Russia.

"Whenever a (sporting) code has those intentions and has put in its proposals, we have to interrogate a lot of things," said Xasa.

"Netball SA is in the process of putting together its proposal. Should the papers and everything work well, we will support them. Netball is not as expensive as hosting other codes."

She said that, if the cost of hosting an event was reasonable, there would be no reason not to support Netball SA because it would be an opportunity to elevate the sport in the country.

Xasa also said that, in future, she would like to see the Netball Premier League extended to a full season, instead of the six weeks over which it is currently played.

She feels this period is not enough for players to unleash their full potential.

The national netball team - the Proteas - are currently ranked No 5 in the world.

The introduction of the league, which is in its fifth year, has helped the national team to perform better.

"Hosting the netball tournament will boost our economy with about R2.5 billion," Xasa said.

Cape Town has been touted as the favoured city to host the two-week tournament, which will feature 16 international teams.

Four-time world champions New Zealand are also bidding to host the World Cup for the fourth time.

The bid proposal will be handed to the International Netball Federation on Saturday, and the host nation will be announced in April.

Read more on:    tokozile xasa  |  netball
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