South African Rugby bids for 2023 World Cup after hosting ban lifted

South African Rugby bids for 2023 World Cup after hosting ban lifted

The governing body for South African rugby union has lodged an official bid to host the 2023 World Cup after a ban on hosting international sporting tournaments was lifted by the government. 

Jurie Roux, chief executive of South African Rugby, submitted an 827-page bid document to World Rugby detailing a “low-cost, high return” event that would require “no infrastructure spend” 

“South Africa has the hunger and capacity to host this tournament like no other country on Earth,” said Roux. 

“We believe we have submitted the strongest technical bid supported by world-class venues and outstanding training facilities in an ideal climate against the African backdrop.” 

He added that unlike other major sporting events, South Africa would “profit” from hosting the tournament, with an independent impact study revealing the economic impact of the event could be as high as R27.3bn (£1.6bn, US$2.1bn, €1.9bn) for the country. 

Despite having the ambition to host the 2023 edition of the tournament for some time, an official bid was thrown into doubt in 2016 when the nation’s former sports minister Fikile Mbalula banned South African Rugby from staging international tournaments as a result of perceived limited opportunities for black sportspeople within rugby union. 

However, that ban was lifted last month after representation targets were met. Mbalula’s replacement, Thulas Nxesi, congratulated rugby – as well as cricket and netball – for being “willing to walk the extra mile”. 

“Their right to bid for and host major sporting events, which was revoked before, is hereby immediately reinstated,” he said following the decision. 

Ireland and France are also bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with World Rugby set to announce the successful candidate on 15 November. 

First published Written by Matthew Campelli 1 Jun 2017