South Africa loses bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

15 November 2017 - 15:08 By CRAIG RAY
Fans of the Springboks during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Fans of the Springboks during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

France have been named host of Rugby World Cup 2023 despite finishing second to South Africa in a technical review.

They beat out bids from Ireland and South Africa and will stage the tournament for a second time following their hosting of the tournament in 2007.

South Africa had been recommended by World Rugby’s Board but the Council members voted for France.

Ireland dropped out in the first round of voting after only securing eight votes with France taking 18 and SA 13.

In the second round France won 24 votes and SA only garnered 15 votes.

Meanwhile in Durban, reports Mathew Savides, mayor Zandile Gumede held her face in her right hand‚ sullen and disappointed as France - not South Africa - were named as hosts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Durban mayor Zandile Gumede (holding the SA flag).
Durban mayor Zandile Gumede (holding the SA flag).
Image: Mathew Savides

With “massive” tourism and infrastructure booms in the offing‚ Gumede said that Durban was excited at the possibility of hosting the event in six years’ time.

“Of course I’m disappointed‚” she said at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. “But if you’re bidding‚ you leave room for disappointment.”

Several group matches and knock-out games were set to be hosted at the R3.6-billion Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ which was built for the 2010 World Cup but with future intentional sporting events also in mind.

She said the city and country was banking on the “spin-offs and opportunities” that would have come with the event.

“Our poor would have benefited from this because more infrastructure would have been built; and job opportunities would have been created. The tourists...would have been beneficial for our communities.

“But we congratulate France‚” she said.

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